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Paid news a major cause of concern for media: PM

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Paid news a major cause of concern for media: PM

In India there are more than 800 channels in nearly two dozen languages. Television sets have now reached more than half the households in our country. As there are plenty of players performing it is expected there will be some mistakes and challenges every now and then.

Sharing his views on cable TV digitisation, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said, “This process of change in the media sector is continuing with the digitisation of the cable industry, which is in its second phase currently. Digitisation will help broadcasters in market discovery, lead to a more equitable distribution of income, and above all, provide consumers with better services and more choice. I hope it will also provide a healthier revenue stream to television companies.”

Highlighting the importance of media he felt that media has a very important contribution to make in the processes of nation building in our country. “We expect our media not only to just report accurately on what has happened but also to highlight social and economic injustices and thus pave the way for their redressal.”

Pointing out few expectations from media, Prime Minister shared that he expects the media to educate public opinion on what is advisable and what is not by informing the people of the benefits and adverse consequences of following a particular course of action. “We expect the media to point out the shortcomings of the government and thus help in improving the effectiveness of the administrative set up in our country,” he added.

The Prime Minister felt that media has been able to maintain a balance and that there are many newspapers and TV channels that have maintained very high quality in their work, and have made a conscious effort to take up issues that are of critical importance to the society and the country. “We witness examples of accurate, fair and well researched reporting everyday on the pages of newspapers and on TV screens. I think that as a whole our media has been successful in its task of informing and educating the people about the state of our society and to our country and the work of the Government,” he added.

While stressing the other side, he said “However, there have been aberrations too. We sometimes see sensationalism driven by personal and political prejudices. There is trivialisation of serious issues, sometimes resulting in misinformation. Reports about ‘paid news’ during the election times should be a major cause of concern to the media. I am of the view that it is up to the media itself to find effective ways and means of addressing these problems.”

Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh was addressing the audience at NDTV Indian of the year conference held in New Delhi.

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