A national organisation of women journalists Monday highlighted the need to regulate the social media in the wake of prevalent "slanderous stereotypes" against women, and demanded an independent media commission to look into the violations of law by the media, and the infringement of rights of media personnel.
"While caricaturing of women and that of women politicians continues across the board and slanderous stereotypes prevail, the unnatural interest shown in the private lives of individuals, hacking their email accounts and uploading of material has raised justifiable concerns about the need to regulate the social media," the Indian Women Press Corps (IWPC) said in a statement.
The reaction comes days after intimate photographs of TV anchor Amrita Rai with Congress leader Digvijaya Singh appeared on social networking websites. Rai later filed a complaint with the police, saying her email and social network accounts were hacked.
IWPC said that an independent media commission is needed to look into not only "violations by the media" but also at the "infringement of the economic and professional rights of the media personnel".
In another statement issued on World Press Freedom Day observed May 3, it noted that the physical safety of journalists and their economic security were important challenges.
IWPC stated that the state of press freedom has become even more precarious with the increasing corporatisation of the media on one hand, and a conservative and sectarian backlash on the other.
"The growing corporate influence in the mass media had the potential to erode the credibility of the profession and that the freedom of the press was inextricably linked to freedom from corporate influence," it said.