Hyderabad: Journalists could use their editorial judgment to take up issues of public concern and not swayed by what is trending in social media, noted Prof. Madabushi Sridhar Acharyulu, the Commissioner of Central Information Commission.
Delivering the key note address at the symposium on “Ethics of Electronic Media,” in Osmania University on Saturday, he observed that despite corporatization of the media and credibility deficit, there is still private space for the citizens and journalists to exercise their democratic rights
Prof. Sridhar remarked that fake news is a criminal activity and is punishable.
“Desist from indulging in such acts,” the Commissioner urged media persons while lamenting that “strong editors” are a vanishing breed. He also showed concern that a few such individuals were bound to become “former editors” soon.
Pointing out at the corporatization of media, Prof Sridhar said one cannot discuss ethics without talking of media take over by corporate and commercial interests.
He also informed that the First Press Commission recommended delinking the industry from the media, but now there’s total silence on the issue nowadays. There should be curbs on cross media ownership, he opined.
While observing the shrinking space for Freedom of Speech and declining credibility of the media, the Commissioner termed electronic media having become an “entertainment media”.
He brought attention of journalists towards the need of individual ethical framework coupled with spirited public interest journalism.
Speaking as the guest of honor in the seminar, Prof. K.Nagshwar pointed out at the dependency of media on the market forces.
He said regretted at the loss of perspective in the din during prime time and the degradation of values in the society which impacts media.
The seminar was presided over by Prof. K. Stevenson, head of the Department of Journalism (DoJ), OU. It was organized by DoJ in collaboration with Telangana Journalists Association.
Among notable speakers and participants were Probetimes editor Silveri Srishailam, Asst. Prof Mustafa Ali Sarwari, RTI activist Subash Agarwal and former PCI member Uppala Laxman.