Rashmi Rekha Das

India is in need of credible crowd-sourced efforts to expose the baseless and fake news in the country, asserted BJP National Vice-President Baijayant Panda at the NBF National Conclave on Friday.

News Broadcasters Federation (NBF)- the largest and most democratic industry body of top pan India television news organisations and digital publishers, hosted the biggest and most anticipated news event ‘NBF National Conclave’ in New Delhi on Friday.

Speaking at the NBF National Conclave, the BJP VP said, “We need to have credible crowd-sourced efforts to expose fake news in India. Social media is helping to do that. We are progressing towards an era where this kind of blatant and premeditated fake news is going to get exposed more and more.”

On the theme ‘whether media need a watchdog’, Panda said, “This is an age-old question. This is not something that suddenly comes out of the blue. This goes back decades even centuries because certain elements have always attempted to manipulate, control, dominate the media in ways that are not legitimate and ethical.”

He continued, “If we go back to the issue of freedom of speech and our constitutional guarantee of freedom expression right towards the last few decades of colonial rule where there was attempt to have a modern world standard freedom of speech right built into our constitution and our laws, those who led the nation in the last decades of colonial rule and in the first few years of independent India, they let us down. Because they entered qualifications to those rights which have then been subsequently manipulated over the decades. Way back in 1980 when Rajiv Gandhi was a Prime Minister there was an attempt to foist a governmental control a watchdog over media and that led to a furore. And that plan was dropped.  From time to time some people have tried to come up with these ideas.” 

Stating that Indian news anchor and journalist Arnab Goswami has also been a victim of an attempt by a state government which took upon itself to regulate media, Panda said, “I use that term facetiously because what they did was, break every norm of constitutionality, every norm of legality, every norm of ethics and every norm of plain common decency.”