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PM stresses on wise handling of social media

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

A file photo of Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that credibility is the media’s currency and is integral to its contract with its audience.

He also stressed on the need for a mature and wise handling of the social media and cautioned that witch-hunt is no substitute for investigative journalism.

In his address at the inauguration of the National Media Centre, he said that the practitioners of the media industry have a special responsibility to assess and tackle the challenges that the two decades of socio-economic change have brought about.

“In a vibrant democracy such as ours, which revels in free enquiry and quest for answers, this is a significant calling. But there is need for caution while executing this responsibility. A spirit of inquiry must not morph into a campaign of calumny. A witch-hunt is no substitute for investigative journalism. And personal prejudices must not replace the public good,” he added.

Stating that credibility is the media’s currency and is integral to its contract with the readers and viewers, he added, “There is also the question of a certain responsibility for social harmony and public order. I emphasise this particularly in the light of the social media revolution, which is rendering irrelevant the lines between a connected citizen and professional journalist.”

Primary directive

He also said that the media should not lose sight of their primary directive in “the tussle between bottom-lines and headlines”.

“It is a reality that journalism cannot be divorced from the business of which it is a part. The responsibilities of a media organisation are not limited to the viewers and readers alone. The companies also have an obligation to their investors and shareholders. The tussle between bottom-lines and headlines is a fact of life for them. But this should not result in a situation where media organisations lose sight of their primary directive, which is to hold up a mirror to society and help provide a corrective,” he added.

>meenakshi.v@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 24, 2013

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