Cuttack: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday asked media to shun the tendency to sensationalise and present facts dispassionately without mixing news and views. He said that media must remain honest and truthful and act with great restraint and responsibility.
Speaking at the centennial celebrations of ‘the Samaja’, a leading Odia daily, “Media has been considered the fourth pillar of the democratic system– a pillar that supports, nurtures and nourishes the democracy and helps in course corrections as and when necessary.”
Urging media to expose loopholes in the democratic system, thereby helping the Government in making the system more accountable, responsive and citizen-friendly, Naidu said ”Democracy without media is akin to a vehicle without any wheels.”
Describing journalism as a mission, the Vice President said that TRPs, circulation figures and bottom lines, though important, must not dictate media’s path.
“Media must act as the moral compass and the conscience of the society and must aggressively campaign to end all social evils. It must become the voice of the voiceless and help the helpless,” he added.
Referring to the stellar role played by Indian media in making the Swachh Bharat Movement a resounding success, Naidu asked media to play a constructive role in solving the burning problems of our time, from poverty to disease to climate change.
Speaking on the rapidly proliferating social media, a by-product of which is fake news, the Vice President expressed concern that the pervasive menace of fake news threatens to destroy the credibility of media and asked media to effectively tackle and disprove fake news by taking control of the narrative.
He expressed hope that more and more vernacular newspapers would come up in India, promoting regional languages and spearheading prosperity of rural areas.
“Regional media could truly transform the rural landscape of India through prudent, prompt and truthful reporting,” added the Vice President.
The Vice President paid tributes to the founder of the Samaja, Utkalamani Pandit Gopabandhu Das and said that he was a great teacher, a renaissance poet, a seasoned journalist, a selfless social worker, a frontline freedom fighter and a great proponent of Gandhian ideologies and moral values.
He also released a book on Gopabandhu Das written by Dr Subhash Chandra Mishra.
Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Kandhamal Lok Sabha MP Achyuta Samanta were present on the occasion.