Media must tell the truth honestly and mediamen must be trained for the profession, noted actor and writer Gollapudi Maruti Rao has said.

Speaking on ‘Media and campaign’ at a literary programme organised by the Visakha Music and Dance Academy here on Tuesday and focussing his talk on the electronic media, he said the bottom line today appeared to be selling the programme rather than telling it. Drawing on his 58-year experience in AIR, print media, and films, he said, from the time of not being able to broadcast news of the death of the first Prime Minister to the gearing up to broadcast Lal Bahadur Sastri’s death to the multitude of channels today, media explosion had come a long way. Its power was demonstrated in galvanising the entire country’s outrage against the Delhi gang-rape. It had the immediacy and the power to open up emotions.

The limitations of media were sometimes a challenge, Mr. Maruti Rao pointed out. For instance, radio content should be arresting as listeners had the option of switching it off. The electronic channels should inform and entertain the audience, but cannot take the them for granted. Also, while broadcasting news, one should not judge news and get involved in it. It was also important for reporters not to get panicky while dealing with a situation.

‘Credibility in question’

Mr. Maruti Rao, giving examples, pointed out how, instead of projecting truth, denominational channels were sensationalising and handing out decorated lies. Trying to provoke sections of people, they lacked credibility. He was critical of the manner in which language was used with English creeping in often. Reality shows were in a bad taste, he said.

Former Head of Department of Telugu American Institute of Indian Studies G. Indira recalled the consummate artistry of Mr. Maruti Rao in his debut film ‘Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya’. VMDA president C.S.N. Raju and S. Vijay Kumar of Vijay Nirman felicitated Mr. Maruti Rao.

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