Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy on Sunday lamented that ‘comments are completely replacing facts' in news reporting by print and electronic media. “This is not a correct trend at all”.
He said that certain basic principles must be applied and certain degree of sanctity followed by journalists in reporting facts, which are sacred. “Opinion is coming first and facts later in reports these days. This trend has to change,” he emphasised.
Mr. Reddy was speaking after releasing a book “Dateline Andhra & an overview of political movements in Andhra” authored by former Chief of Bureau and Deputy Editor of The Hindu R.J. Rajendra Prasad. Veteran journalist C. Raghavachari launched a website “datelineandhra.com” containing photo gallery and reviews by Mr. Rajendra Prasad, along with the e-book in downloadable PDF format.
The Union Minister regretted the ‘fall' in moral standards in public life and said this was being rivalled by a corresponding fall in journalism.
Fall in standards
“Journalists are competing in bringing down the moral standards. This does not bode well for the Indian democracy.” He described Prasad as an ‘utterly unselfish man who was proverbially scrupulous in narrating facts'.
Other speakers, including Mr. Raghavachari, Mahaa TV managing director and editor I. Venkat Rao, Indian Journalists Union secretary-general K. Srinivas Reddy, Press Academy former chairman D. Amar, former Chief Secretary Narendra Luther and IAS officer K. Lakshminarayana, recalled their decades-long association with Prasad. They said he was a humble and serious journalist, but treated even juniors with respect. His ‘balanced' view in reporting should inspire young journalists.