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Time to introspect, VS tells journalists

Last Updated: Friday, August 27, 2010 - 20:44

Thiruvananthapuram: Introspection and self-
correction on the part of journalists were vital in the
current context to guard against undersirable tendencies like
"paid news syndrome", Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan
said today.

Considering the critical role they were expected to play
as the fourth pillar of the democracy, it was important that
journalists re-dedicated themselves to the values and social
commitments upheld by pioneers in Indian media, the Chief
Minister said.

He was inaugurating a seminar on "ethical journalism--
perspectives and practice" organised by Kerala Union of
Working Journalists (KUWJ).

It would be quite wrong to say that crisis of values was a
problem afflicting journalism alone at a time when all
spheres of life were controlled by market forces.

Despite their limitations, journalists should always bear
in mind that the social responsibilities entrusted on them and
that they were not expected to work like `robots` under the
diktats of market forces and the media corporates, he said.

Majority of mainstream media in India supported the economic
liberalism and globalisation without bothering about thier
adverse consequences on the society as a whole.

Unstinted support given to this economic philosopy by
mainstream media had emboldened the Centre to pursue policies
of privatisation and economic liberalistation. Ironically,
this had helped media capitalism to strengthen in the country
creating insecurities among the mediapersons themselves,
Achuthanandan observed.

Senior Congress leader G Karthikeyan said it was important
that while criticising others including politicians,
journalists also made some soul-search if they were following
the ideals of the profession as set by their pioneering
models.

The inaugural session was followed by a discussion on "paid
news- a threat to media ethics". State Finance Minister
T M Thomas Isaac, P Sainath (Rural Affairs Editor,
The Hindu), media critic and former MP Sebastian Paul and
trade union leader and former MP Thampan Thomas spoke on the
subject.

PTI



First Published: Friday, August 27, 2010 - 20:44

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