Modi tells media to use editorial freedom wisely

Modi tells media to use editorial freedom wisely

Modi tells media to use editorial freedom wisely

Asserting that editorial freedom must be used wisely in the public interest, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that media should ensure that it maintains credibility in news coverage.

Speaking at the 75 anniversary of Tamil daily Daily Thanthi at the Madras University Centenary hall, Modi said even though media may be owned by private individuals, it serves a public purpose.

"Equally so, the freedom to write and to decide what is to be written, does not include the freedom to be less than accurate or factually incorrect," Modi said adding, "It (media) has as much social accountability as the elected government or the judiciary. And its conduct must be equally, above board."

Observing that most media houses focused on politics, the prime minister said that achievement of of citizens should also be highlighted.  "I would be happy to see media focus a lot more on their stories and their achievements," the prime minister said.

Pointing out that the readers will analyse, discuss and cross-check the news that comes to them, through multiple sources, Modi said "media, therefore, must make an extra effort, to maintain its credibility".

Modi also called for a healthy competition among media houses.  "A healthy competition among credible media platforms is also good for the health of our democracy," he said.

The prime minister also said media should allocate more space to climate change.  "Can media take a lead in the battle against it? Can media devote just a little space, or a fixed time daily, to report, discuss or increase awareness about what we can do to combat climate change?" he asked.

Appreciating media's response to the Swachh Bharat Mission, Modi appealed to  newspapers in particular to devote space for the Centre's Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat initiative.

"Schools can be encouraged to discuss this in their classrooms daily for a few minutes, so that they too are exposed to the strength and richness of our diversity," he said adding, "hence, this step will not only serve a noble cause, but will also increase the strength of the publication itself".

Earlier in the day, Modi arrived in Chennai on a one-day visit to the city. He attended the wedding of the daughter of a senior IAS officer in the Prime Minister's Office and also met Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence.