Rajya Sabha member and noted agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan has urged the media to give more importance to the agriculture sector to help it face another revolution on the lines of “green revolution” in sixties for which print media played a key role.

Addressing the third and last day of the workshop - “Parliament and Media” here on Friday, organised by Rajya Sabha, Dr. Swaminathan expressed his discomfort about media’s penchant to report “mega events” and ignore “real problems like chronic hunger and endemic poverty”. The media could play an important role in the proper implementation of the policies.

Mr. Swaminathan urged the media to take more interest in issues relating to climate change and food security.

Former SEBI Chairman M. Damodaran referred to the worrying trend in the media’s approach wherein business interests were largely driving contents of media reports. What people were getting to read these days were not pure news but, by and large, advertisements in the garb of news.

Calls for code

He urged media commenting on the stock market to recognize its sensitivity and called for an internal code of conduct for the media for dealing with market.

Mr. Damodaran quipped “power (of media) has increased but its credibility has taken a knock.” The media was in need of adequate leadership to steer it in the right direction, he said.

Former MP Nilotpal Basu said the Parliament and the media had a symbiotic relationship in making the executive accountable to the legislature and through it to the people.

He opposed the idea of allowing media to cover the proceeding of the parliamentary committees as “it would inhibit members to rise above party lines as well as the officers who to depose before the committee on behalf of the various Ministries/Departments to come out with truth.”

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