Chandigarh, Feb 11 – Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda today stressed the need for upholding the ethics and values of journalism to effectively deal with the challenges before media and also called for measures to check the menace of surrogated advertisements.
The Chief Minister, who was speaking at a seminar organized on the theme of ‘Challenges Before Media’ by Chandigarh Press Club here today, said that if media persons uphold the values of their profession, most of the challenges would be met.
As earlier in the keynote address, Editor, Outlook, Mr Vinod Mehta had advised the media persons not to accept favours from politicians, a media person raised the issue that the Chandigarh Press Club has been given enough funds by the Governments including Haryana and the State Government had also given cash awards to media persons. To this, Mr Hooda said that the Chandigarh Press Club was given funds in the same manner as he had been giving financial assistance to other organizations so as to help them. He made it clear that after giving financial assistance to any media person, he never asked him to carry his news. The media persons being the members of the society, he intended to help them as he would do to others. He said that he believed in the saying, “Expect not, regret not.”
The Chief Minister was so impressed with the holding of such a seminar that he announced to give Rs five lakh to the Chandigarh Press Club to organize similar seminars at district headquarters in the State as these would make the media persons and the public conscious of the challenges before media.
Mr Hooda said that all professions have their challenges and media was not surviving in isolation and they could meet these challenges effectively by upholding the values.
While reminding the contribution of great freedom fighters in the freedom struggle of the country, he regretted that these days there was a lack of feeling of patriotism and the opinion which some of the freedom fighters had made through journalism for the freedom of the country has not been maintained. The credibility which the political leaders of those days enjoyed was now rarely seen. He said that the media would have to play the role of an opinion maker with the same spirit with which it had motivated the countrymen for the freedom of the country.
While responding to the issue of surrogated advertisements raised by some of the speakers, he said that he was the first to raise voice against this issue and would support to check this menace. He even narrated his personal experience by quoting an incident which he experienced in the Lok Sabha elections of 2004 and his action had forced a newspaper to withdraw the publication of a paid news.
He said that while reporting the media persons should thoroughly investigated the issue so as to project the true picture. By following the six points in a news item that is what, why, when, where, who and how they could do fair reporting.
Mr Hooda pointed out that today we were living in a media driven society but in fact the media should be driven by the society. He urged them that instead of criticism, the media persons should give suggestions and added that over activism could question their credibility.
Editor, Outlook, Mr Vinod Mehta urged the media persons to maintain their credibility and ensure that did people believe them about what they write. He added that if one has to succumb to pressures in this profession, better he should leave the profession. He pointed out that according to an estimate about 60 per cent people in media were not there for professional reasons. How they survive and why a certain TV channel exists when financially it is not doing well, were the questions.
While referring to the relationship between media persons and political leaders or business houses, Mr Mehta advised the media persons to keep issues bigger than friendships and added that they should not accept favours from politicians as once they accept they would make a compromise. At the same time, he advised to make their own commandants and before taking any decision, they should ask themselves that would it enhance their credibility. He narrated some personal experiences to support his suggestions.
Others who also spoke on the occasion included noted media persons, Mr B.K. Chum, Mr Gobind Thukral, Mr N.S. Parwana, Mr Balwant Takshak, Mr Baljit Balli, Mr Balbir Jandu, Mr Rajiv and Mr Pritam S. Rupal.
The Chief Minister was presented with a memento by the Chandigarh Press Club.
Those present on the occasion included Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Dr K.K. Khandelwal, who is also Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Information, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs Department, Mr Shiv Raman Gaur, Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister and Director, Information, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs Department, Political Advisor to Chief Minister, Prof. Virender, Media Advisor to Chief Minister, Mr Sunder Pal, Additional Media Advisors to Chief Minister namely Mr Sunil Parti and Mr Kewal Dhingra, Senior Vice President of the Chandigarh Press Club, Mr Nalin Acharya and Secretary General, Mr Pritam S. Rupal and other office bearers of Chandigarh Press Club.