Information and Public Relations and Culture Minister K.C. Joseph said here on Sunday that television serials and reality shows should be censored as films were.
He said television programmes unsuitable for the whole family to watch together were on the rise. Referring to a reality show, the Minister said the vulgarity on show in such programmes went against the culture of the State.
“I have received many letters, including those from school students, criticising the programme,” he said.
He was speaking at the State conference of the Kerala State Excise Staff Association here on Sunday.
Mr. Joseph launched a scathing attack on the visual media, which, he said, have ignored the burning issues faced by the State to highlight trivial issues.
“Of late, the news channels in the State have limited their focus to scandals, paying no heed to issues of relevance. It is a matter of shame that the previous four Assembly sessions had been rocked by scandals. This could have been avoided had the media, particularly the visual media, highlighted development issues. News channels have their own separate agendas. The government, however, will not impose any sort of regulation. It is up to their editors to ensure self-regulation and refrain from crossing the ‘Lakshman Rekha,’” he said.
Government Chief Whip P.C. George, who spoke next, however, opposed the Minister’s view. Mr. George said “truth can be unsettling at times” and that that there was no point in holding the media responsible for highlighting the bad deeds of politicians.
“The visual media must be credited for exposing the true colours of political leaders. The media, which were regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy, must proceed strongly in championing public issues,” he said.
He said public representatives were expected to come under constant media because of the nature of their responsibilities.
Mr. Joseph, who was initially seen to be appreciating Mr. George’s words, exited the venue in the middle of the speech, leading to a feeling that he was displeased with the comments.
The Minister, however, told The Hindu that he had not walked out in protest. He had told Mr. George beforehand that he would be leaving early.
Chandy flays media
Staff Reporter writes from Kochi:
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that the media are publishing information provided by the accused in cases as news. Talking to presspersons here on Sunday, Mr. Chandy said the media were hounding him and his family. The allegations raised against his son, Chandy Ommen, were baseless and he did not own land anywhere in the country. Legal action would be taken against those who raised false allegations, he said.