Editorial freedom should be used wisely in public interest, says Modi

Chennai, Nov 6: Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Monday said that editorial freedom should be used in public interest, adding freedom to write, does not include the freedom to be factually incorrect.

Addressing at the 75th anniversary celebrations of Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium, Modi said today newspapers do not just give news. They can also mould our thinking and open a window to the world.

He asserted “Editorial freedom should be used wisely and in public interest.”

Pointing out the natural calamities occurring around the world at regular intervals, Modi urged newspapers to allocate space to increase awareness about climate change.

He said the freedom to write does not in anyway reduce the importance to be accurate and correct, adding that though media outlets may be owned by the private sector, they serve a public purpose, have much social accountability and their conduct should be above board.

He said technological advancement enables citizens to compare, discuss and analyse the credibility of news and the media should take extra caution to maintain its credibility.

According to him, reform in media can come from within and through introspection.

Referring to Mahatma Gandhi, Modi said “The press is called the Fourth Estate. It is definitely a power, but, to misuse that power is criminal”.

“A lot of media discourse today revolves around politics. However, India is more than just us politicians”, Modi added.

Citing the hike in mobile phone users, PM assertedcitizen reporting is important in showcasing individual achievements and also helping in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and his deputy O.Pannerselvam also attended the event.

Paying encomiums to the founder of Daily Thanthi S.P. Adithanar and his son Sivanthi Adithan, Palaniswami stated the daily would certainly see centenary celebrations.

Leaders of several political parties, law makers, industrialists, movie actors and diplomats participated in the function.

Earlier in a day, Modi was received by Purohit, Palaniswami and others at the airport.

From the airport Modi reached the INS Adyar naval base here in a helicopter.

At INS Adyar, Modi called on  Palaniswami and discussed about the rain and relief situation in Chennai and neighbouring districts.

Wefornews Bureau 

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