March 2019: New Delhi: Vice President of India Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today asked the media to analyse issues and challenges before the electorate instead of resorting to agenda setting and taking sides.
Delivering the first ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee Memorial Lecture’, organized by the Indian Institute of Mass Communication on the “Role of Media in Moulding an Enlightened Electorate”, Shri Naidu advised the media to present a report card on the performance of parties in an objective manner to enable people to make an informed choice during elections.
Media should act as a mirror that reflects the reality
Vice President further said “free media is the cornerstone of democracy. Described as the fourth pillar of democracy, media can actually be a force multiplier to sustain democracy. It’s the responsibility of media to report undiluted truth during the elections. News and views should not to be mixed together”.
Shri Naidu said that media should act as a mirror that reflects the reality, neither magnifying nor diminishing, neither distorting nor mystifying facts. He called upon the media to dispel rumors propagated by different political outfits and put a full stop to fake news by presenting the right facts before their readers and viewers.
Vice President said use of money and muscle power, breaching the limits of election expenditure, invoking caste and religion, criminal antecedents of candidates, paid news and fake news, inadequate representation of women in legislatures were among the major pitfalls of our democracy and needed to be addressed in quick time to make our elections more credible and inclusive.
Earlier in his address the Vice President paid rich tributes to late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, calling him one of the tallest leaders of post –independence India. Describing Vajpayee a master communicator, Vice President said “Atal ji brought countries and parties together. He had a rare ability to connect and communicate, which the young journalists need to learn.”
In his introductory remarks, DG, IIMC K G Suresh explained the rationale behind institution of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Memorial Lecture recalling former prime minister’s close association with journalism. It may be recalled that Atal Bihari Vajpayee had started his career as a journalist with the ‘Samachar’ daily published from Varanasi, before entering politics.
During the function the Vice President also released a special issue of ‘Communicator’- IIMC’s quarterly journal dedicated to the state of Indian language journalism.
Dr A Surya Prakash, Chairman, Prasar Bharati presided over the event and outlined the strengths and weaknesses of Indian media.
Heads of I&B Media units, faculty and students of IIMC and other media institutions attended the event.