‘Journalists are crusaders of truth’
Hyderabad: Press Council of India chairman Justice C.K. Prasad has described journalists as crusaders of truth.
Speaking at a national seminar on “Ethics in Contemporary Journalism” organised by Telangana State Union of Working Journalists, Press Club of Hyderabad, Veteran Journalists Association and Media Education Foundation India (MEFI) here on Thursday, Justice C.K. Prasad stressed that journalists are bound to be in conflict with the government authority the day perhaps that is not then it would be the saddest day not only for the country but also for the democracy.
Justice C.K. Prasad said, “Because it has been so long we don’t have the idealistic state we don’t know how many years we have to wait for that. But today you are bound to be in conflict with that. As I request the media fraternity to be in conflict, I am oppose to be idea of being in cordial relationship with the authority that is the government. So long as the “Ram Rajya” is not established, there is a great debate about what the “Ram Rajya” was. When we say it was not very good governance and all those things, but so long there is no “Ram Rajya” there has to be conflict between the media and the government”.
“I am impressed by the ease and the confidence of the journalists in questioning anybody and everybody. The richest the mightiest, the ease with which they question them is remarkable. I wish this spirit the younger generation of journalists must carry,” Justice C.K. Prasad said.
He went on to say that the crux of the first complaint and large number of complaints is that the journalist uses the profession as a shield to do illegal acts and to blackmail the people. “I condemn those journalists who are not journalists in true spirit. They are misusing the card which has given by one of the organisations of journalists and using that as a shield.” He said that it was the case from this state “I exactly don’t remember that is AP or Telangana , but when we looked at the matter then the fact was journalist was clean. He used process of journalism as a shield. He was really involved in the Real Estate business and therefore you journalists have to get to know of yourself for that, otherwise you would have missed those kind of journalists and your credibility is lost. When your credibility is lost that is the weapon in your hand. You would lose that weapon. Another kind of complaint which I received was from many people. That was about the misconstrued statement given by political body. Most time they are not said assaults in the media. There was the huge uproar in the country when the Media reported that one of the Ministers of Union Government compared the Dalit killing in Haryana to that of stoning the street dogs. Everybody in the country was upset from that statement. The Press Council of India has examined this and we found that that statement is reconstructed by the Press. That is the question of credibility; but fortunately for Indian media it is not rampaged, may be a case here or there. I remember those days when the Home minister of the country. who was at Vizag told ministers to be careful when dealing with the Media people. Many of my journalist friends thought that it’s the ventilation of the stand. But in my opinion, I am sorry to say it is not ventilation of the stand. I compare this with an incident where a young lady going to the police station and her father cautioning her to be careful. It is very serious question for authority of Police. “Codification of the Code of Conduct for Journalists is the need of the hour” Justice C.K. Prasad added. “The country is proud of the contribution of journalists to the nation,” he said.
K. Sreenivas Reddy, chairman, Education Foundation India (EFI) said Inida needs Media Commission. S.N. Sinha, president, Indian Journalists Union (IJU), Amar Devulapalli, secretary-general, IJU, Prakash Dubey, group editor, Dainik Bhaskar & member, PCI, K. Amarnath, Member, PCI and Navin Mittal, commissioner, Information & Public Relations, Government of India, took part in the programme. (NSS)