Media should promote scientific temper among masses: Minister

Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said the government should not regulate media, but there is a need for the media to adopt self-regulation.

He was delivering the inaugural speech of the two-day 11th Global Communication Association (GCA) international conference on ‘Ombudsman: Media and Social Responsibility’ here on Thursday. The University of Mysore (UoM) is the academic partner of the conference.

Describing the current media explosion as digital age, Rao said there is an exponential growth in the process of generation of information and its global reach.

“However, with the advent of corporates and the allegations of paid news, there are possibilities of information being manipulated before dissemination. If people get manipulated with false information, it may lead to differences of opinion, disharmony, riots and violence. So, media should impose the obligation of social responsibility on itself and try to secure its credibility,” he said.

The minister said, “Media is definitely free in India and that is why it has remained credible. In view of the diversity in the nation, media has been instrumental in keeping the spirit of unity alive.”

Stating that media has grown powerful because of its reach, the minister said it is the trendsetter because of its influence on people. “Politicians always have a grouse against the media. But people get factual information. But, the facts should be checked and crosschecked to retain media’s credibility because the thinking process of the people depends on the information. Media should also promote a scientific and rationalistic temper among people,” he said.

As per the law of the land, an accused is innocent till he is proven guilty. But due to the activism of the media, it is reverse. Now, an accused is not necessarily a person, who is facing charges in a court of law, but someone against whom an allegation is made. And, the ‘accused’ is held guilty until he is proven innocent, Rao said.

Chairman of My Kingdom Holdings Venu G Somineni, GCA chairman Yahya R Kamalipour, Vice Chancellor K S Rangappa, Registrar C Basavaraju and Organising Secretary of the conference Krishna B Mariyanka were present.

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