‘Media sidelining crucial issues’

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Journalists and speakers from other fields expressed concern at what they termed as the increasing obsession among television channels and a section of other media to ‘scandalise’ news and ‘demonise’ public personalities.

Speaking at a debate on ‘Media’s role in a democracy’, here by Solidarity Youth Movement, they said that crucial issues that affect the ordinary people are getting sidelined because many journalists do not feel the pulse of the masses.

The pervading influence exerted by commercial interests is another matter of concern, the speakers said and called upon the media to do some serious introspection.

In his address, K.M. Roy, veteran journalist, said the media played a crucial role in preserving the democratic spirit in the country.

“Now, the focus must be on corruption, or else it will gnaw the roots of democracy. Naxalism is gaining foothold in many States because funds meant for developing these areas are being siphoned off, mainly by government officials.”

Media analyst and former MP, Sebastian Paul, said that the freedom enjoyed by a country’s media is closely linked with the freedom that its people enjoy. Journalist N. Madhavan Kutty warned journalists against ‘going with the herd’. He alleged that many media groups have joined hands to portray the Left parties in bad light and called upon journalists to increase the boundaries of independence.

Media helps people take informed decisions, said Prof. Yaseen Ashraf, the Associate Editor of Madhyamam.

“The western media is far from objective and often does self-censorship. Many journalists do not verify the information provided by government and police officers, and truth becomes the casualty”. In his address, the president of Solidarity, P. Mujiburahiman, said many public figures turn against the media when they are portrayed in bad light.

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