New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) Voicing concern over sensationalism in the media, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday said the fourth estate should instead expose corruption and pull up the government when it trips.
“We see sensationalism, driven by a desire to sell a story at any cost. There is reporting which is prejudiced, trivialisation of important matters and corruption. The prevalence of ‘paid news’ exposed recently has come as a shock to all right-thinking people,” he said.
The prime minister made the remark while releasing a book on the history of The Tribune newspaper’s 130 years.
“It is truly pleasant to go down the memory lane with the newspaper of my choice which has been my staple reading every morning for decades,” Manmohan Singh said.
Stating that media should be inspired by public interest and not guided by sectarian or commercial reasons, he said India sits at the high table of nations and is looked upon and heard with respect.
He said the government believed in independence of the media from external control.
Sometimes irresponsible journalism can have serious consequences for social harmony and public order, he warned.
“But censorship is no answer. It is for the media to collectively ensure that objectivity is promoted and sensationalism is curbed.
“Those in the media should come together to exercise a degree of self-regulation to combat perversions like paid news.”
He said “it is the responsibility of the media to expose corruption and other ills in polity and society”.
“Media should also advise the government and even reprimand it when it goes wrong.”