Prime Minister Narendra Modi spelt out the challenges to the media in this age of technology and social media at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in the national capital on Wednesday. Talking about the responsibility of media, Modi said that people today don’t get news but views. “People now have a lot of news. In this context, maintaining credibility is a big issue and the biggest demand of time,” he said.
Expressing concern over the sensationalisation of news by media houses, Modi gave examples of how news outlets give sensational headlines to grab eyeballs.
“BMW car se Dalit ki maut. Modi sarkar ki kamartod budget (Dalit killed in road accident by BMW car, Unaffordable Modi government’s budget). Headlines like these confuse people,” said Modi.
WATCH VIDEO: RNG Awards: Narendra Modi On Role Of Media
Talking about the role of media, Modi said it has expanded and with the advent of social media people now have different sources of information. “Today even a farmer in a village has a news to share,” said Modi.
Setting two important matters before the media, Modi said he does not have any issue with the government being criticised by the media but there should be no mistake in reporting. National unity, he added, should be the priority as India is a diverse country.
“Any compromise is a news for you and you move on to the next news but such a compromise leaves behind deep wounds. We (politicians) may be making more mistakes than you but please
strengthen forces of national unity.
“Today you have different sources of information. People these days go through a newspaper not to read the news but only to check authenticity of the information they already have,” said Modi.
On a lighter note, Modi also thanked media as it made him popular “otherwise who knew me.”
He also pitched for a world-class Indian media organisation to propagate the country’s view strongly across the globe and cited current debate on environment and global warming. He said such an organisation should not belong to the government.
He said all big countries are working for having a strong media voice at the global level and for India it is an opportunity as well as a challenge.
After his address, Chief Editor Indian Express Raj Kamal Jha addressed the audience. He deftly made a point that good journalism is not dead. “It’s not that good journalism is dying. It’s that bad journalism is making lot more noise than it used to 5 years ago. Good journalism should be defined by the work we celebrate today,” he said.
The Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards was instituted by the Ramnath Goenka Foundation in 2005 to celebrate the legacy of the founder of The Indian Express Group. Its categories cover investigative, political and sports journalism, non-fiction writing, feature writing, sports and entertainment, commentary and work done in regional languages.