PM oppose outside control over media

New Delhi: Ruling out any outside regulation of the media, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the media in the country can itself take care of the `ills` like paid news and urged it to reduce sensationalism in coverage. "I am very happy that the media of our country is by and large independent and alive…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."

"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," the Prime Minister said.

He was speaking at a function here in which he released a book and a postage stamp issued in the memory of late Puran Chandra Gupta, the founder of Hindi daily Dainik Jagaran. Gupta had also served as Chairman of Press Trust of India for two years.

Noting that it is good for the country`s democracy that the reach of both electronic and print media have increased substantially due to new technology, Singh hoped Indian media will be successful in checking ills like paid news. "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. You should also pay attention on how to increase the coverage of those issues, which are really important for our country," the Prime Minister said.

Lauding Gupta for encouraging independent and fearless reporting throughout his life, Singh said such journalism is quite necessary for any democracy.

Wishing a happy new year to the countrymen, the Prime Minister prayed that the year be one of happiness and prosperity for the country.

Describing Gupta as a freedom fighter, revolutionary, journalist and entrepreneur all rolled into one, Singh said the latter was of the firm belief that the aspirations and sentiments of people of India can be expressed only through newspapers in Indian languages.

The event was also attended among others by BJP leader L K Advani, Union Ministers Jairam Ramesh, Sachin Pilot, Jyotraditya Scindia, Uttarakhand Chief Minister B C Khanduri and Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav.

Pilot, the Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, lauded Gupta for never compromising with democratic values and independent thinking throughout his life.