Increased competition in the media, especially among television channels, should not result in reducing news to trivia and sensationalism, warned Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at the annual awards function of the Karnataka Madhyama Academy here on Monday. He said journalists should remember their true calling in an atmosphere of heightened competition and keep public interests as the guiding principle.

“News channels tend to stretch even trivial private squabbles within a family into daylong news, which does no good to even the members of that family at the end of the day,” said the Chief Minister. The focus of the media should be on development and social change, he added.

A free press focusses on objective reporting, and investigation can guide and correct politicians and government, said Mr. Siddaramaiah, adding that private interests kill this fundamental tenet of journalism.

Journalists H.S. Balaram, T.U. Satish Pai and H.S. Eshwar were presented special awards for 2012 and 2013. Among the 30 journalists who were given awards for 2013 included Afshan Yasmeen, Special Correspondent, The Hindu, Bangalore. In all, over 60 journalists were given awards for 2012 and 2013.

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