After Union Minister Arun Jaitley spoke out against media trials, his Cabinet colleague M Venkaiah Naidu today asked the press to play a “responsible and constructive” role and lamented that instead of constructive debates, the “obstructive” approach was making news.
In an apparent reference to the Opposition stalling Parliament during the Winter Session, he said the media reports prominently that “so and so leader came to Parliament and did not allow Parliament to function, as if it is a great thing. It is like somebody came and then murdered somebody and then you try to give him a headline”.
“Media must play that role, that responsible role and a constructive role. What is happening unfortunately in this country is constructive thing or constructive debate is no news. Destructive approach or obstructive approach becomes big news,” he said addressing a gathering on the occasion of inauguration of the World Toilet Summit here.
Naidu’s statement came a day after Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley came out against media trials. He said courts come under tremendous pressure in high profile cases and media should introspect as parallel trials prejudice the environment.
Noting that those disrupting Parliament proceedings figure on the front page, Naidu, who holds the Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development portfolios, said sensationalism and obstructionism are not going to help anybody.
“If you go to well of the House and do some nonsensical thing and throw some paper or raise the mike, then you are on the front page. This sensationalism, obstructionism is not going to help anybody. You must understand this,” he added.
The Minister, however, appreciated newspapers that are reporting on various social issues.
“Lot of newspapers have taken up this cause of Swachh Bharat. They are devoting some space, they are reporting about good practices,” he noted.
He also recalled an incident, where he had formed a committee under the Urban Development Secretary after a newspaper carried a campaign for unclogging Delhi.
“Politicians have a major role, bureaucracy has a major role, the society, its social leaders, also have a role. While at the same time, media also has an important role,” he stressed.
Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Mahesh Sharma, and Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, were among those who spoke on the occasion.
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