HYDERABAD: Chief minister K Rosaiah has stated that
telecasting unverified news on television channels would do a lot of damage to
the society and wanted the electronic media to be circumspect about it. Rosaiah
said his government is aware of the problems of the journalists and stressed
the need to maintain self-restraint by media in reporting the events,
particularly ‘the sensitive ones.’ Speaking at a seminar on protection of media
values organised by the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ), he
advised the scribes to be cautious over not getting carried away by the need
for urgency and sending the news to the news channels without proper
The chief minister regretted that values were on a
downward spiral in all professions, and exhorted journalists to safeguard these
values, so that the entire society gets benefited.
Earlier, the APUWJ had taken out a massive rally from NTR
stadium to the seminar venue where hundreds of journalists from all over the
state had participated.
He said that politics was not alien to the erosion of
values and recalled that in the past politics were meant to do service but now
they were for securing a post.
Rosaiah, reacting to a plea of journalists, said that if a
decision had been taken in the past that government would cut 2 per cent from
the advertisement bills raised by the dailies and add it to the journalists
welfare fund, he would certainly implement it.
The chief minister said that about 8,800 press persons
were availing the Mediclaim and the government was paying about Rs two crore as
He said he would examine the demand to appoint a
high-level committee to examine the cases of attacks on media persons.
Press Council of India member Paranjoy Guha Thakurta
speaking on the occasion said that paid news has become a menace. Though the
heads of the media houses denied these allegations there were dozens of
examples to the contrary, he said.
He was categorical that publication of paid news was in
violation of Representation of People’s Act.
Human rights activist Professor G Haragopal said
journalists must have a social perception and know for whom they have to work.
He said an editor should be able to work independently.
Member of the Legislative Council and journalist S A
Jaffrey said the media should have an ethics committee on the lines of Lok
Sabha, Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies.
HMTV chief executive officer K Ramachandra Murthy said
that if media of the present day was there in the past, massacre of Sikhs after
the assassination of Indira Gandhi, Godhra riots, demolition of Babri Masjid
and dethroning of N T Rama Rao would not have taken place.
Deputy editor of The Hindu S Nagesh stated that media
houses need institutional regulatory systems.
Andhra Jyothy editor K Srinivas said that journalists
should have freedom.
Press Academy former chairman P Venkateswara Rao regretted
that some people were using the media for their personal gains.
Others who spoke included Mahaa TV CEO I Venkat Rao and
Visalandhra editor E Nageswar Rao, Indian Journalists Union secretary general K
Srinivasa Reddy and Press Academy former chairman D Amar.