Journalists should try to uphold accuracy and fairness and make a conscious attempt to present diverse views on a situation or an issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said.
Inaugurating the year-long centenary celebrations of 'Kerala Kaumudi' newspaper here on Saturday morning, Dr.Singh said that journalists who inform and educate the public, are conscience keepers of society who point out lapses of the administration and government and also the society at large.
"A good journalist should possess accuracy and fairness. It is easy to uphold accuracy. Fairness does not merely imply the absence of bias in reporting but bearing in mind that truth often lies somewhere between extreme positions adopted by interested parties. In an increasingly complex world, journalists should also take pains to relentlessly update and educate themselves," Dr. Singh said.
Speaking of the 'Kerala Kaumudi', Dr. Singh commented that it has a proud history. Many accomplished men and women were associated with it. Its founding editor C.V.Kunhiraman was not only a brilliant journalist, but also a noted literary personality and a revolutionary thinker. The late M.K.Kumaran, who edited the newspaper for over a decade, apart from his journalistic and literary pursuits, was also active in public service. The Sunday columns of Sahodaran Ayyappan are legendary and he continued writing them till he passed away. Its political correspondent K.Balakrishnan was also a reputed figure. "The 'Kaumudi’ television channel planned by the group should help to serve the public better," Dr. Singh said.
Chief Minister V.S.Achuthanandan, who offered felicitations, said that the interventions of the media has helped to unearth scams. "At the same time, corporate media and a minority among the journalists are trying to aid and abet corruption. This is termed as paid news. The deterioration in this sector is really painful," he said. "Kerala Kaumudi, he said, can boast of a social and political history. It has been striving to uphold the right of oppressed like the backward classes and fight against untouchability and other social evils, propagating the ideals of Sree Narayana Guru," he said.
Dr.Singh released the first volume of the 'History of Kerala Kaumudi' written by Nedumkunnam Gopalakrishnan and the title of 'Kaumudi' television channel. Defence Minister A.K.Antony, Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi, Governor R.S.Gavai, Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy, Sree Narayana Dharma Sanghom Trust president Swami Prakashananda, and SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellapally Natesan were among those present. Managing Editor Deepu Ravi welcomed the guests and joint managing director Anju Sreenivasan proposed a vote of thanks.