Urging the media to maintain a constant vigil in the wake of the recent developments in Assam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that restraint should be exercised so that nothing that divides society and the country is written, broadcast or telecast. Manmohan Singh said that media should make conscious efforts to build bridges between communities and regions.
Inaugurating the golden jubilee celebrations of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) here on Thursday, the Prime Minister pointed out that an independent and responsible media is a pre-requisite to sustaining society, where multiple, often opposing, views co-exist. The reporting and opinions of the media should be fair, objective and balanced. The desire to make news sensational should be avoided, he said.
“Today the country is going through difficult times. The tragic developments in Assam and their reverberations in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad have shown that we cannot afford to take social peace and harmony for granted.
“We need to be constantly vigilant and work continuously towards promoting communal harmony, inter-group and inter-community dialogue,” Manmohan Singh said.
The Prime Minister recalled the contributions made by the media in the state for the development of an independent and free press in India. The media has reflected the aspirations of the people and has moulded public opinion, he said.
Presiding over the function, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that media has a major role in development. On the occasion, Defence Minister A K Antony pointed out that usually there is a love-hate relationship between the journalists and the public servants. He also reminded that the journalists should seek a second opinion to ensure the credibility of their matter.
The demands for amending the Working Journalists Act was also raised during the meeting.
Union Ministers Vayalar Ravi, Kamal Nath, K V Thomas, Mullappally Ramachandran,
K C Venugopal, E Ahmed, KUWJ president K C Rajagopal and secretary Manoharan Morayi were also present. Senior journalists were honoured at the conference.