Naidu calls for a 'code of conduct' for journalists

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu presents 'Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award' to Rajasthan Patrika group chairman Gulab Kothari during the National Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019, at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. PTI

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday batted for a ‘code of conduct” for journalists by media bodies themselves and rued that by starting their own newspapers, political parties and business groups are promoting their vested interests and compromising the values of journalism.

Naidu, who as Chairman of Rajya Sabha has also batted for a code of conduct of MPs in Upper House, said this while addressing an event organized by the Press Council of India to observe the National Press Day.

“The time has come for media bodies to come out with a code of conduct for journalists in view of the critical role journalism plays protecting democracy and in serving the larger good of the society,” he said.

 Naidu asked journalist bodies like PCI to “do a serious introspection” over the changing landscape of media that has transformed dramatically over the years and “so have the values of journalism.”

 At the event also attended by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, Naidu also flagged the perils of “fake news” as he cautioned journalists against being “used by vested interests” and appealed to Indian journalistic community to convey the “right facts to the world about Jammu and Kashmir.”

Javadekar said fake news is a bigger crisis than paid news.

Underlining the need to maintain objectivity, neutrality and accuracy of the news, Naidu also talked about the “undesirable trend” of political parties and politicians having started their own newspapers, which he said should be called “newsletters” and not newspapers. Naidu also cautioned journalists against “sensationalism” in news.

The Vice President also gave away awards to the recipients of the “National Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019” under various categories. Gulab Kothari from Rajasthan Patrika was awarded the prestigious “Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award” for his contribution to journalism.

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