"Unless the conscience of media persons is clear, the purpose of having a regulatory body for media will not be of much help," Canara Communications Director Fr Richard D'Souza said.
Presenting his views at a seminar on 'Whether media needs curbs?', jointly organised by Media Alumni Association of Mangalagangothri (MAAM) and Sandesha Foundation, at Sandesha here on Tuesday, Fr D'Souza rued that a situation has arisen wherein there is a need to watch the watchdog.
With reference to an increase in incidents of paid news, private treaties, media blackmails, unethical practices and unhealthy competition to raise TRPs, he felt that it is the sole responsibility of media to watch the watchdog.
Sharing his views on legal perspective, advocate Santhosh Peter D'Souza cited a couple of examples on how freedom of expression has been upheld by various courts including the Supreme Court in India. He also delineated on how politicians among others have used as well as misused various Acts against media persons.
Activist Dinesh Holla hailed the role of media persons in exposing several scams but stated that despite a series of articles on Yettinahole, people are yet to take up the issue seriously.
Stating that the work on Yettinahole project is only an indication of future disaster, Holla was of the opinion that despite the drawbacks in media, only media can prevent future disasters through awareness and exposure.
Senior journalist Chidambar Baikampady recalled the good old days of journalism when journalists used to think twice before publishing any sensational news. In his concluding remarks, Udayavani Editor Balakrishna Holla said that only self-regulation can help in the long run.
Earlier, inaugurating the seminar, Prof G P Shivram said that media has become an industry and stressed the need for self-regulation. However, his remark that scribes are like call girls attracted sharp criticism from media persons present at the venue. Though he said his comment was based on a research, he failed to recall the study or substantiate his claim and tendered an apology.
Presiding over the inaugural programme, Sandesha Director Fr Vijay Victor Lobo opined that though media is the fourth pillar of democracy, at times, media is replacing other pillars too.
MAAM Hon President Venu Sharma explained the objective of the workshop while Sandesha Assistant Director Br Victor Crasta proposed a vote of thanks.
DH News Service