Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the media had great power to influence the people and urged the Fourth Estate to use its freedom of expression to spread harmony and contribute to the nation's development.
Launching the New Delhi edition of Marathi daily newspaper Lokmat here yesterday, he said the media should exercise the freedom of expression with responsibility.
“When the freedom is misused and expression becomes distorted and dangerous and you overstep, the law will have to step in,” he said.
Cautioning the media not to let itself become a tool in the hands of rumour mongers, Mr. Naidu said, “Information with confirmation is great ammunition; without confirmation, it remains gossip and can lead to dangerous rumour mongering."
Asking the media to exercise self-restraint, the Vice-President said if the control is from without, it would prove more dangerous. It can be profitable only when exercised from within, he added.
“You should hold the mirror to the society but the mirror should be a straight one, not convex, concave or contorted,”Mr. Naidu said. "News should be news, views should be separate,” he added.
“News is a public good. Please use it for enhancing the 'good quotient' in society. You have the power to influence, use the power wisely,” said the Vice-President. “Use it to get to the truth (Satyam) and share it for the larger societal benefit (Shivam) in a beautiful format(Sundaram),” he said.
Mr. Naidu also recalled the history of the Lokmat newspaper, which is entering into its centennial year this day, and its contribution to India’s freedom struggle.