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Stand up for uprightness and objectivity: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on July 21, 2019 Published on July 20, 2019

Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu visits an exhibition at the centenary celebrations of Gora Sastri organised by 'Veteran Journalists Association', in Hyderabad   -  PTI

Vice-President cautions media against blurring the real picture behind a smokescreen of half-truths and obfuscations

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has cautioned the media against breaching the standards of ethical and independent journalism and urged it to stand up for uprightness and objectivity.

Paying tributes to veteran editor and writer, late Gora Sastri at his centenary celebrations, in Hyderabad today, the Vice President emphasized that difference of views and opinions must always be tempered with and find expression through dispassionate discourse.

Reminding the audience of the fiercely independent journalism pursued by Gora Sastri (during the 1950’s to 1980) and the powerful editorials written by him, Naidu said he was recalling those instances “to underscore the importance of independence and fearless journalism, which is seen more in its absence today.

“In today’s scenario. We find news fused with opinion, thus making it challenging for us to glean news from views and arrive at a considered opinion or conclusion. The real picture gets blurred behind a smokescreen of half-truths and obfuscations”, he added.

Havoc of fake news

Naidu also pointed out the damage being wrecked by fake news, which is flooding us and the malaise of paid news and breaking news which were eroding the credibility of the media.

The Vice President expressed his concern over the degeneration of values in various fields, including journalism and emphasized that news should not be mixed with views. He advised journalists to leave the final judgment to readers and not to give judgements themselves.

Not long ago Politicians, Journalists and Doctors profession was considered a mission. It does not seem any longer in most cases. The way elected legislators are shifting loyalties, its difficult to predict where one would be at the end of the day itself, Naidu said.

Naidu said that the media today - be it electronic, print or digital - needs to look up to stalwarts like Gora Sastri, who were a blend of commitment and forthrightness, modernity and tradition. “As contemporaries, he and Narla Venkateswara Rao exemplified the finest principles of journalism and strode the stage of Telugu newspapers like titans”, he observed.

The Vice President said that he had few occasions to interact with Gora Sastri, whose vision was deeply imbued with the spirit of nationalism. His wit and humour, breadth of knowledge of both Telugu and English literary works, and his unwavering adherence to independent journalistic standards, set him apart from the common run of journalism, Naidu reminisced.

The Vice President also wanted journalism courses to include lessons on the lives of great journalists.

Earlier, the Vice President released the book ‘Vinayakudi Veena’, a collection of articles penned by Gora Sastri.

The Secretary of Sahitya Academy, K Srinivas Rao, the President and Secretary of Veteran Journalists Association, G S Varadachari and K Laxmana Rao and several prominent senior journalists were present on the occasion.

Published on July 20, 2019
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