The Press Council under the chairmanship of Justice G.N. Ray while considering the reference from Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regarding Private Treaties by Media Companies in its meeting held on February 22 accepted the following suggestions of SEBI
-Disclosures regarding stake held by the media company may be made mandatory in the news report/article/editorial in newspapers/television relating to the company in which the media group hold such stake
-Disclosure on percentage of stake held by media groups in various companies under such ‘Private Treaties’ on the website of media groups may be made mandatory
- Any other disclosures relating to such agreements such as any nominee of the media group on the Board of Directors of the company, any management control or other details, which may be required to be disclosed and which may be a potential conflict of interest for media group, may also be made mandatory.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India had expressed its concern that many media group were entering into agreements, called ‘Private Treaties’, with companies which are listed or coming out with a public offer, for stake in the company and in return providing media coverage through advertisement, news reports, editorials etc.