//Kuldip Nayar calls for objectivity in reporting

Kuldip Nayar calls for objectivity in reporting

The Hindu, 27 Nov 2006

`Media should avoid exaggeration on any specific issue'



TETE-E-TETE: M.P. Abdussamad Samadani, MP, with Kuldip Nayar, journalist, at the Allama Iqbal Indian Humanitarian Academy in Kozhikode on Sunday.



KOZHIKODE: Ethics in media means objectivity, to be precise, bold and independent, so that readers get the true picture of an event or happening, Kuldip Nayar, journalist and human rights activist, has said.

Mr. Nayar was delivering a lecture on `Ethics and Media' organised by the Allama Iqbal Indian Humanitarian Academy here on Sunday.

He said it was tragic that the judiciary was becoming pro-establishment, and the media was only too willing to be part of such a system.

Pointing to the pressures from the Government, political parties, corporate sector and other quarters under which journalists discharged their duties, being objective had become more relevant now, Mr. Nayar said.

It was the duty of journalists to protect and be articulate on violation of human rights and minority rights. The media should work in tandem with the cultural pluralism or ethos of the country so that issues relating to the poor and underprivileged get the coverage it deserved, he added.

"It is important for mediapersons not to write what is expected of him or her by the establishment or the Government, but on providing the right information. Free information evokes good response too."

He called on the media to avoid exaggeration on any specific issue. Pointing to issues such as the Mullaperiyar dam controversy, when passions run high restraint was called for. Let experts decide how best to tackle the situation.

Journalists should presenting the correct picture and not inciting the public, he said. The Working Journalists Act introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru was aimed at providing independence to journalists. About the initial coverage of the western press of the Iraq war, Mr. Nayar said that what they practiced had been `embedded journalism.' "The western media admitted that reporting had not been objective. In India too, media faced a similar situation during the Chinese war when journalists wrote reports based on the press handouts given to them. None had gone to the field of the happenings."

He quoted an Urdu couplet of Allama Iqbal that spoke of the challenges posed by changes. He said it was applicable to the media too and called on journalists to shed their inhibitions and face the challenges brought about by a new emerging order.

M.P. Abdussamad Samdani, director, Allama Iqbal Humanitarian Academy, who presided said ethics was a highly relevant issue in the present context and touched upon every aspect of life.