Addresses Valedictory of Golden Jubilee celebrations of Press Council of India
By INN/PIB, @infodeaofficial, Chennai;
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that present day journalists should follow core values of accuracy, fairness, objectivity, news worthiness and independence. He was addressing the Valedictory of Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Press Council of India, on the occasion of the National Press Day, here today. The Union Minister for Textiles and Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Smriti Irani and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Vice President said that when the struggle to gain independence from the British began gathering momentum, the press became an important vehicle to inspire the people and voice their aspirations. He further said that several newspapers and journals, particularly the vernacular ones, played a crusading role in the freedom movement. The press was the main source of propaganda for the freedom fighters even as the British rulers tried to suppress it at every conceivable opportunity, he added.
The Vice President said that the nationalist role played by the newspapers and journals contributed in no small measure to influencing and moulding the public opinion during the freedom struggle. He further said that the following Independence, the press in India continued to play the role of watchdog and held a mirror to people’s problems and their aspirations. It remained one of the main pillars in protecting and strengthening democracy in the country, he added.
The Vice President said that the contours of journalism have changed over the years. He further said that Watergate scandal in the USA was a memorable example of how a free and fearless press can cause the downfall even a powerful President. In India too, we have had an instance in which a Chief Minister had to resign after the press highlighted a scandal relating to cement industry, he added.
The Vice President 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.