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Journalists have special role in building society: PM

Thiruvananthapuram: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said journalists could become agents of change if they were true to their profession.

"In a sense, journalists are the conscience keepers of society–pointing out what is wrong not only with the administration and government but also society at large," the Prime Minister said, inaugurating the year-long centenary celebrations of Malayalam daily `Kerala Kaumudi.`

"If they are true to their profession, journalists can become agents of change–and change for the better," he said.

Dr Singh said accuracy and fairness were the two qualities that a good journalist should possess.

"Accuracy is relatively easy to understand and uphold. However, fairness implies not merely the absence of bias in reporting on events but also a very conscious attempt to present diverse and different views on a situation or an issue," the Prime Minister said.

Fairness implied bearing in mind that truth often lay somewhere between extreme positions adopted by interested parties. In an increasingly complex world, journalists should take pains to be continuously on their toes to update and educate themselves relentlessly, Singh said.

He recalled the services of eminent persons associated with the `Kerala Kaumudi` including its founding editor CV Kunhuraman. MK Kumaran, who edited the daily for over a decade, had also been elected to Lok Sabha twice.

The daily`s early political correspondent K Balakrishnan had also served as a member of parliament, Singh said. "In this centenary year, it is time for all those associated with Kerala Kaumudi to cherish the memory and genius of all these talented men who have contributed in building this celebrated newspaper," he said.

The Prime Minister also released a book on the history of Kerala Kaumudi and the title of the daily`s new television channel `Kaumudy.` He hoped that the TV channel would enable the Group to serve the public better.

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