August 25, 2013 3:31:49 am
Speaking at the sixth Prakash Kardaley Memorial Lecture,former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu,N Ram,said he did not agree with Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs advice to the media to show restraint.
Earlier in the day,Singh had advised the media to exercise caution,saying that the spirit of inquiry should not morph into a campaign of calumny and a witch-hunt.
Ram and senior journalist Dileep Padgaonkar were the chief guests at the lecture organised by Prakash Karadaley Friends Forum in memory of the former late editor of the Pune edition of The Indian Express.
Manmohan Singh,who is quite a mild prime minister otherwise,has frequently lectured the press,advising it not to create pessimism about various institutions among the public. He says dont let people lose faith in our institutions. I dont agree with him. As long as political corruption exists in the system,you have to investigate and explore it,independently and responsibly. The governments performance is so bad that,very often,you turn adversarial. In fact,I would go so far as to say that to destabilise an unjust and corrupt system is a good thing, said Ram.
Comparing the current state of journalism in the country with that in the days of Bofors scandal,Ram said the media has lost the rigour to investigate and thoroughly follow important issues.
We have lost a great deal on the front of factual reportage and on the rigour of reporting. The reason for this is that often journalists do not get enough time for doing proper research. The hurry often results into factual mistakes, he said.
In his speech,Padgaonkar gave the example of the recent laying off of employees of a news organisation to say that there are tough times ahead for media houses. Only those media houses who produce good content will survive. So long as you dont come in terms with this fact,it would be difficult to cope with changing situation, said Padgaonkar.
The lecture was attended by several prominent journalists and activists and many journalism students.
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