New Delhi: Strongly batting for the freedom of media, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar today slammed some state governments for imposing ban on a couple of TV channels.
Javadekar, who did not name the states, said such bans are against democratic principles and erode press freedom.
"There are two to three states who have imposed such bans so that these channels are not available in cable networks... The media houses are even threatened," he said.
Speaking at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) convocation function here today, the minister laid stress on upholding press freedom.
His comments came in wake of recent instances where two Telegu channels were banned in Telangana, triggering strong protests from journalists who had demanded revocation of the ban.
He also raised the issue of paid news and said during his recent election campaign in Maharashtra, he saw the menace was still prevalent there.
"I saw in elections that paid news has not ended and is increasing. This has to end and media can only stop it. Media houses should come forward and proudly say that have stopped paid news. Making law alone won't work," he said.
He also voiced his objection to news sensationalism, asking the budding reporters to stay away from it as it distorts the real facts.
Journalism, he said, has to be pursued with a passion and "responsible" journalism is the need of the hour.
With IIMC set to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, Javadekar said they are working on a proposal to transform it into a communication university.
He said the ministry website would host a space for the same where all stakeholders including students can sent their feedback.