PM asks media to shun sensationalism

New Delhi: Affirming Government`s commitment to a free press, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today asked the media to take steps to check sensationalism in coverage and focus on issues "really important" for the nation.

"In my opinion, there is a general consensus in our country that no outside control should be imposed over the media. But I am also of the view that the representatives of media should among themselves find a way by which objectivity and impartiality gets encouragement and sensationalism is reduced," Singh said. He was speaking at a function to release a commemorative postage stamp in the memory of late Puran Chandra Gupta, the founder of Hindi daily `Dainik Jagran`.

Ruling out any outside regulation, Singh also expressed confidence that the media in the country can itself take care of the `ills` like paid news. "Ever since we have got independence, discussions have been going on in the country about the role of the media and the manner in which it functions…..I am confident that Indian media will itself take steps to wipe out the ills like paid news and will also be successful in it," he said.

Singh also expressed happiness over the fact that the country`s media is "by and large independent and alive". At the same time, the Prime Minster stressed that Indian media should pay attention on how to increase the coverage of those issues, which are "really important" for our country. He also noted that it is good for the country`s democracy that the reach of both electronic and print media has increased substantially due to advent of new technology. Lauding Gupta for encouraging independent and fearless reporting throughout his life, Singh said such journalism is quite necessary for any democracy.