Media should not do “dishonest reporting”: P J Kurien

Thursday, Mar 23, 2017,14:04 IST By anju A A A

New Delhi | In an unusual move, Rajya Sabha on Thursday advised the media not to do “dishonest reporting” by exaggerating or blacking out news and events.

The advise from the Deputy Chairman P J Kurien came after opposition MPs raised the issue of big media outlets not publishing the constructive debates and suggestions they had made in the debate on electoral reforms in the Upper House yesterday.

Raising the issue when the House met for the day, Naresh Agarwal (SP) said the country expects that what transpires in the House is truthfully reported.

But only the nuisance that the MPs create by rushing into the Well or shouting slogans gets reported, he said.

As was stated by Sharad Yadav (JD-U) in the debate yesterday, biggest newspapers did not publish a word on the suggestions on electoral reforms, he said asking the Chair to give a direction to the media.

“You cannot scold but can give direction that whatever positive discussions happen should be reported and not just negativities,” Agarwal said.

Yadav said the debate on the issues got “buried within the four walls of the House” and went on to state that the media freedom has now become the freedom of individual owners and not journalists.

Kurien asked what can the Chair do about media not publishing any news.

Yadav said law should be brought to bar cross ownership by not allowing media barons to venture into other businesses.

Anand Sharma (Cong) said the media played an important role in democracy in sensitising public opinion and ensuring balance of narrative on important public issues.

But the views of the opposition, which matter a lot, irrespective of its size and strength, must get adequate space in the media, he said.