A free, responsible and diverse media are as vital to parliamentary democracy as democracy is for freedom of speech and expression and independent media can play crucial role in building and moulding public opinion which in turn influences the decision-making process, Speaker of Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan said while inaugurating the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference CPA) on Parliament and the media law here on Wednesday.
Freedom of the press also includes public's right to know and to participate in free flow of information, she observed.
The relationship between the Parliaments and legislatures and the media was crucial since the former were the forums which discuss the issues concerning the public and the latter that conveys the gist of the discussions to the people and also provides feedback, the Speaker said.
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu, Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu, Speaker of AP Assembly Kodela Siva Prasada Rao, Chairman of AP Legislative Council A. Chakrapani, Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M. Thambidurai and others along with Presiding Officers from 10 countries and 20 States and Legislative Secretaries attended the session.
The great freedom of power and influence the media enjoy in a democratic society should be wisely and responsibly used and corresponding responsibilities were consciously fulfilled.
"How to achieve this, by the laws or guidelines voluntarily imposed by the media itself is the main question", she said.
Mr. Chandrababu Naidu felt that a positive media aiding the large human and natural resources and good leadership was a huge advantage for India .
Good debates (in the Parliament or Legislatures) were not getting focused in the media but ruckus created by the members was, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu observed and said that Parliament and the Press should not get too close or act as adversaries.