President inaugurates 125th anniversary fete of Malayala Manorama daily

The media is accountable to its readers and viewers at large and, through them, to the entire nation, President Pranab Mukherjee stressed on Saturday.

Inaugurating the 125th anniversary celebrations of Malayala Manorama here, the President reminded the media fraternity of the key role it had to play in cleansing public life, but cautioned that, in taking up this role, the conduct of the media itself should be above board.

“Integrity and independence are two sides of the same coin,” he said and added that every effort should be taken to ensure that political or commercial interests were not passed off as legitimate and independent opinion. “Sensationalism should never become a substitute for objective reporting,” Mr. Mukherjee said.

“In our country, freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Constitution and the influence, credibility and quality of our media are well recognised. Such a high standing casts upon the media certain responsibilities,” he said and, quoting Gitanjali, stressed that the media should always keep in mind that the words written and spoken must come from the depths of truth.

The President had a word of caution for Kerala, which had been a pioneer and path-breaker in many fields such as literacy, school enrolment, declining fertility rate, a positive sex ratio for women, and low infant and maternal mortality rate.

“There is little room for complacency,” he said and pointed out that there was an urgent need for industrialisation and rapid creation of jobs. “Kerala’s infrastructure requires significant improvement, and remittance from non-resident Keralites has to be channelled into long-term development activities.”

He said: “There is need to find innovative solutions and new methods of mobilising society for collective welfare as Kerala prepares to address these new challenges.”

The President released a commemorative stamp on the occasion.

Union Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Kapil Sibal, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and MP Jose K. Mani spoke.

Chief Editor of the daily Mammen Mathew welcomed the gathering and Executive Editor Jacob Mathew proposed a vote of thanks. The function began with a special invocation by music maestros L. Subramaniam and Kavitha Krishnamurthy.

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