Fake news bigger menace than paid news: Javadekar

Union I & B Minister Prakash Javadekar addresses during the National Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019 function, at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Saturday that fake news was a bigger menace than paid news and urged the media fraternity to introspect about ways to deal with it.

Speaking at an event organised by the Press Council of India to observe National Press Day and confer National Awards for Excellence in Journalism, the union minister for information and broadcasting also touched upon the issue of "lynching" and how only "one kind of lynching" was being talked about.

"A fake news was circulated about child-lifters and it claimed 20 lives. When there is discussion about lynching, only one lynching is talked about but these 20 people also died due to lynching. That is not talked about," he said.

Talking about how fake news goes viral on social media, he said even if a tweet is deleted, it stays somehow.

"Press freedom has to be responsible freedom. We need responsible freedom. Mediapersons need to introspect. Fake news has more TRPs," he said, adding fake news was a bigger menace than paid news.

"There should be discussion about how to deal with the menace of fake news. You can give suggestions to the government," he told the gathering.

Javadekar also spoke about how press freedom was curbed during the British rule and the Emergency in 1975.

He said as a student activist of the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, he had fought for press freedom during the Emergency and had even gone to jail.

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