Press Council Chairman Justice Markandey Katju, who strongly criticizes the unethical practices of Indian media in presenting news, once again slammed media for focusing more on entertainment instead of educating the society.
At an interactive session organized by Public Relations Society of India, Kolkata chapter, Justice Markandey Katju expressed his views on “The Role of Media in India”. He emphasized the duty of media in giving leadership to the society. He advised the present day journalists to take inspiration of 19th century writer Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, who used to educate readers while entertaining them.
Stating that 90% of the people in India are at a poor intellectual level, the former Justice, urged the Indian media to educate the society rather than focusing on entertainment. Entertainment is given much importance rather than real issues of the society like poverty, unemployment, dowry deaths and, he added. Though entertainment should be provided by the media, it is not justified in giving 90% of the portion to entertainment, leaving only 10% to social issues which are basically socio-economic in nature.
“In order to educate society the media itself should be of high intellectual level, which could be achieved only by the careful study of subjects like economic theory, political science, literature and philosophy”, he said. It should work to uplift the intellectual level of the society by focusing more on the social and economic issues prevailing in the present society.
He also mentioned that India was passing through a transitional period from a feudal agricultural society to a modern industrial one. According to him, ideas play vital role during this transition period. Hence, media needs to promote rational, scientific, and modern ideas which help the society to pass through this period faster and with minimum pain.
Instead of acting in an “anti-people manner”- by which large section of Indian media diverts people’s attention from real issues, it should provide leadership to the society.
He also mentioned that there had been continuous pressure to suppress the 71-page report on paid news, which had been approved by him and published in the official website.
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