‘One-sided reports give wrong impression’

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday called upon journalists to be objective in their criticism, even as he observed that criticism was the hallmark of a democratic set-up.

He was speaking after being felicitated by the Press Club of Bangalore for including its proposal in the State Budget to provide health insurance and pension to journalists.

The Chief Minister expressed concern over the trend of television channels going hammer and tongs over some issue or the other throughout the day without bothering to give time for the other side to present its version.

“Such one-sided reports cannot be objective as they create the wrong impression. Objectivity comes only when both sides of the story are presented,” he said and called upon the media to make that a habit.

‘I go by my conscience’

“I normally desist from reacting to media criticism. This is because I always go by what my conscience says, irrespective of whether it is correct or not. Also, criticism is an integral part of a democratic set-up and I am one of those who strongly believe in democracy,” he said.

Highlighting the importance of the media in protecting the interests of the public, he quoted the former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson who famously said, “If I have to choose between government without newspapers and newspapers without government, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the latter.”

‘Will study schemes’

The Chief Minister said that he would study pension and health insurance schemes for journalists adopted by other States such as Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra before framing rules for a similar scheme in Karnataka.

Meeting

Information Minister R. Roshan Baig said he would discuss details related to these schemes at a review meeting of his department here on March 3.

Referring to the budgetary proposal to set up a media centre, he said it would be a state-of-the-art one.

Press Club of Bangalore president Ramakrishna Upadhya and general secretary Sadashiva Shenoy spoke.

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