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Editorial freedom must be used wisely in public interest: PM Narendra Modi

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Editorial freedom must be used wisely in public interest: PM Narendra Modi

“The press is called the Fourth Estate. It is definitely a power, but, to misuse
that power is criminal," Prime Minister Narendra Modi quoted Mahatma Gandhi, today, during his address at the platinum jubilee of Tamil daily ‘Daily Thanthi’ in Chennai.

“Editorial freedom must be used wisely in public interest. The freedom to write does not include the freedom to be 'factually incorrect',” he further said.

“Today, newspapers do not just give news. They can also mould our thinking and open a window to the world. In a broader context, media is a means of transforming
society. That is why we refer to the media as the fourth pillar of democracy,”the prime minister said on the role of media in transforming the society.

Speaking about the influence of vernacular press, PM Modi said, “The then British Government was fearful of the Indian Vernacular Press. It was to muzzle vernacular newspapers, that the Vernacular Press Act was enacted in 1878. The role of newspapers published in regional languages remains as important today, as it was then.”

The Prime Minister also urged the press to focus more on climate change and asked “Can media devote just a little space to report or increase awareness about what we can do to combat climate change?”

He said that stories about the achievement of “125 crore Indians” should be done more and media should not keep the coverage to be limited to politicians. “A lot of the media discourse today revolves around politics. However, India is more than just us politicians," he said.

“Media must make an extra effort to maintain credibility. Healthy competition among credible media platforms is also good for the health of our democracy,” Modi added.

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