Jayarama Raje Urs, Secretary to the departments of Kannada and Culture and Information, has urged the media to sahun “paid news”.

He was addressing journalists here on Sunday after presenting the P. Gopalakrishna Memorial Award for 2009 to Harish K. Adoor, a journalism teacher. The award, instituted by the Dakshina Kannada Working Journalists' Union, comes with Rs. 5,001 in cash, a citation and a memento.

Mr. Adoor has been chosen for the award for his write-up in a Kannada daily on the problems being faced by the Malekudiya tribal people at Navoora village in Belthangady taluk, especially during the rainy season.

Mr. Urs said that “paid news” would come in the way of the freedom of the press as it was nothing but embracing commercialisation.

Calling upon the media to report objectively and with responsibility, he said journalists should not misuse the freedom of the press. Working journalists in districts, semi-urban areas and villages need not feel inferior to those in cities and metros. The former had the power to bring the Government to the rural areas by highlighting issues objectively and properly.

Mr. Urs cited the work of P. Sainath, Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu, and said that Mr. Sainath's reports on drought, suicide by farmers and other problems were instrumental in the Government announcing the scheme to waive loans of farmers.

Stating that the media should always create positive vibes among readers, he said presspersons should visit places, understand the reality and then report objectively, without relying on mere statements and “supplied news”.

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