Defence Minister A.K. Antony, stating that the outlook of the media had on many occasions stood as a roadblock to development in the State, has called for a review of the position of the media to understand and adhere to its responsibilities while helping the State develop.
Dedicating the 14th edition of the Mathrubhumi Malayalam daily at Alappuzha on Sunday, Mr. Antony said the media would have to think beyond vote-bank politics and circulation-oriented journalism and instead focus more on the development of Kerala. Having a major role to play in the State’s development efforts, the media should not jump to conclusions or take hurried points of view. In-dept studies and discussions had to be made mandatory before adopting any stance, he said.
Also dedicating the A.V. Kuttimalu Amma Memorial Building of the daily on the occasion, Mr. Antony said the media would have to review why the State had fallen behind other States in terms of development, particularly after the independence. Whether the deserving growth had been achieved and whether the media had handled its responsibility well were also points to be pondered over and debated, he added.
Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, inaugurating the V.M. Nair Memorial Building, said the north Indian media was witnessing dangerous and abominable trends like paid news, bribery and corruption in the media and manipulated creation of news, with the Press Council of India too expressing concern over these developments. Newspapers and journalists here would have to see to it that such trends did not creep into the media sector in the State.
Stating that the days when the public swallowed everything the media fed them were over, Mr. Achuthanandan said the readers in the State were much more discerning now and would not allow the media to mislead them. Journalism committed to the development of the society would be accepted any day, he added.
Mathrubhumi Chairman and Managing Director M.P. Veerendrakumar presided over the gathering, which was welcomed by the daily’s Managing Editor P.V. Chandran. Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy, Mathrubhumi Editor M. Kesava Menon, KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala, Ministers N.K. Premachandran, Kadannappally Ramachandran and Jose Thettayil, K.C. Venugopal, MP, A.A. Shukoor, Thomas Chandy, MLAs, K.R. Gouri, K.M. Mani, C.K. Chandrappan, Vellappally Natesan, M.V. Raghavan, T.M. Jacob, Shibu Baby John and others also spoke.