M A I N   N E W S

Scribes can make world better: Prez
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Artistes perform during the 62nd World Newspaper Congress in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
Artistes perform during the 62nd World Newspaper Congress in Hyderabad on Tuesday. — PTI

Hyderabad, December 1
Noting that journalists have a stake in building a better and safer world, the President Pratibha Patil today advised them to strike a balance between portrayal of negative and positive happenings in the society.

“There is a tendency in some sections of media to focus excessively on news which is negative. There is, of course, a lesson to be learnt from events that are negative, but equally important is to convey positive messages and to inspire people,” she said. The President was speaking after inaugurating the 62nd World Newspaper Congress, being held in India for the first time.

She said the function of the media as a social catalyst was so powerful that it imposed an obligation on it to profile issues of equity and empowerment of all.

“Journalism should remain anchored in some basic principles and criteria. Its first obligation is to truth, its first loyalty is to the citizens, its essence is the discipline of verification of a news story before being published or broadcast and its practitioners must exercise their personal conscience,” said the Preident.

Touching upon the emerging challenges in the media sector, she said new technologies would bring new changes.

Over 900 delegates, including editors, publishers and CEOs, from 87 countries are attending the three-day event which will discuss a wide range of issues, including curbs on the media, challenges posed by the Internet and new technologies and future of journalism.

“Terrorists have woven a complex network across the world, posing a threat to innocent lives and to peace and stability of societies. Nabbing consignments of weapons and drugs in one part of the globe can reveal a conspiracy of a much larger dimension. For the media, it implies that even though it is covering certain local events, it must necessarily look at other links,” the President opined.

Referring to the issues of climate change, she said media could play a crucial role in promoting behavioural patterns, consumption preferences and production models which are environment friendly.




Pak editor: Media a spoiler in Indo-Pak ties

Intensely nationalistic media both in India and Pakistan had pushed the two countries to the “brink of war” after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, eminent Pakistani journalist Najam Sethi said today. Blaming the media for fomenting problems in bilateral relations, he said: “After the Mumbai terror attack, both the media put on the war paint and pushed their governments to the brink of war.” Sethi, who is the Editor-in-Chief of Friday Times, was speaking at the 62nd World Newspaper Congress after receiving the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) “Golden Pen of Freedom” award.

In his acceptance speech, Sethi said the media in India and Pakistan were part of the problem in bilateral relations as they were trapped in “narrow nationalism”. The reputed editor recalled several instances where the media in both the countries stalled the peace dialogue at crucial points in bilateral history.

“In 1989 when the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited Pakistan, the Pakistani media stopped Benazir Bhutto’s government from implementing far-reaching cultural accords that were signed on that occasion. When Gandhi went back, the Indian media stopped him from moving ahead on Siachen accord inked by the defence secretaries of the two countries in Pakistan,” Sethi said.



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