"Nowadays, the freedom of press has degenerated to 'power' of press and the recent report in UK by Lord Justice Leveson indicting the press, shows how the media has been misusing its power instead of being a vital stimulant for a vibrant functioning democracy," said former chief justice of India, MN Venkatacheliah.
Speaking at the inauguration of the new campus of Sri Sri Centre of Media Studies in Bangalore, the former chief justice said that developing the spirit of a hunter, trial by the media has become very common, and in the process, tarnished the image of many people as it happened in UK.
Apart from this, the electronic media has been pursuing its own agenda and posing a danger to the society.
"Today, journalists have cultivated proximity to politicians and bureaucrats. They should spend their time more at the temple rather than the tavern," he advised and added that there have been cases where media's relentless pursuit had resulted in tragedy and litigation.
Commenting on the standards and quality of press, he said, "Tabloids or the electronic media have no respect for any standards. But the misdeeds of the press is a small price to pay for upholding democracy and with all institutions collapsing today, it is time for press to play a more responsible role while restoring moral values as well as the faith of the people in the fourth estate."
Inaugurating the new campus centre, Art of Living founder and teacher, Ravi Shankar lamented the declining standards of journalism and said, "The social media is playing a pivotal role in awakening people to many issues as it happened in Egypt and the Gulf countries but the mainstream media should go out of the way by being truthful and fair. Journalists should be clean and bound by moral values."