National Press Day
Our Correspondent / New Delhi
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today expressed concern over what he called as ‘some dangerous trends that had crept into the newsrooms of both print and electronic media’ and said these needed to be curbed.
Addressing a function on the occasion of National Press Day in New Delhi this evening, Mr Naidu said that deliberate slanting of news, providing disproportionate coverage to issues, organizations or personalities, while relegating hard news to single columns or fillers or giving prominence to a non-issue that creates more tensions among people are some of the dangerous trends that have crept into the newsrooms of both the print and electronic media. He further said that the haste to beat your rivals or competitors should not lead to inaccurate reportage. Journalism is a noble profession and all of you as flag-bearers of this vocation must ensure that people are correctly informed and not become captive receivers of biased and partisan information, he added.
Naidu said that media needs to have confirmed information to fight corruption, injustice and other social ills. Mr Naidu said, media professionals should be guided by a sense of mission.
He said, present day journalists should return to the core values of accuracy, fairness, objectivity, newsworthiness and independence.
Mr Naidu said, the haste to beat the rivals or competitors should not lead to inaccurate reportage. He said, press in India has an illustrious history and vernacular media played an important role during the national freedom struggle. The Vice President said, rural people, underprivileged and women should be given more say in media.
The Vice President saluted the journalists who played a big role during the emergency to bring back democracy. He said, media landscape is growing bigger day by day and radio and social media are also expanding.
He said, media has been doing commendable job in exposing scams and scandals. He appreciated the role of media in moulding public policy with public opinion.
Earlier speaking on the occasion, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani said, self-regulation is the best regulation. She also stressed on the need to eliminate increasing incidents of fake news that are damaging the value of free press. She said, voices of media should not be suppressed and constitutionally it is the responsibility of Government to ensure that media has the freedom to speak.
She further added that today citizens are becoming journalists through the social media network and they are playing an important role to remind the media of their responsibility as the fourth pillar of democracy.
On this occasion, Mr Naidu presented Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award to veteran journalists Sam Rajappa and Sarat Mishra for their outstanding contribution towards journalism.
Shalini Nair of The Indian Express was awarded for her work in Rural Journalism and Developmental Reporting. K Sujith of Mangalam Daily, Kerala and freelancer Chitrangada Choudhury were awarded in the category of Investigative Journalism.
C K Thanseer of Chandrika Daily, Kerala and Vijay Verma of Press Trust of India were awarded in the category of Photo Journalism, Single News Picture, while J Suresh of Malayala Manorama bagged the award in the category of Photo Journalism – Photo Feature. Gireesh Kumar MP of Times of India, Kochi got award in the category of best newspapers art, covering cartoons, caricatures and illustrations.