Gowda supports media regulation

Gowda began his speech quoting former US president Thomas Jefferson’s famous words: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Although he fell shy of revealing if he felt the same way as Jefferson, and said: “It is inappropriate to talk about it here”, he did not shy away from telling the 100-odd media representatives in the hall that they must fulfill their responsibility of reporting true and sensible news.

Stressing on the fact that media houses driven by market forces indulge in sensationalism, Gowda said: “This might not be the most effective way of doing things. In our democracy, you (media) have the responsibility of building the nation and for this we need responsible investigations and reporting of news.”

Thereby, he said, there must be regulation. “Whether it can be self-regulatory or legal provisions need to be made, must be decided through a public debate,” he said.

He was speaking after presenting awards to journalists on behalf of the Karnataka Media Academy.

A total of 48 media representatives from across the State were conferred with awards for the years 2010, and 2011.

Speaking at the event, senior journalist Arakere Jayaram said: “Kannadigas are losing relevance in English newspapers in Karnataka. Private proprietors bring in people from other states, who do not know even the City. The government should bring about moral pressure on such organisations to hire locals.”

Another senior journalist G N Ranganath said: “Media houses are indulging in sensationalism which is not correct.”  Commenting on Bangalore University (BU) Vice-Chancellor N Prabhu Dev’s announcement that BU is planning a School of Communication, he said: “It is good but I request you to enhance the quality. I say this because I have seen the syllabus for 10 years and I think it needs upgrading.”

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