Madikeri: ‘Media the Fourth Estate Set to Leap to Second Place’ – Senior Journo at Press Day

Madikeri: ‘The legislature, the executive, the judiciary and the media are considered to be the four estates or pillars of any democracy. Since the significance of the first two are seeing a steady decline in recent days, now media is going to take the second place after the judiciary,’ said senior journalist K S Sachidananda Murthy, who is the current resident editor of Manorama and ‘The Week’, here on Monday, July 1.

He was speaking at the ‘Press Day’ celebration held under the joint aegis of department of information and public relations, Karnataka Madhyama Academy, Kodagu District Working Journalists’ Union, Kodagu Press Club and Patrika Bhavan Trust in Cauvery auditorium in the city.

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Murthy observed the media in the modern days of technology kept changing with the times which enabled flow of better and quicker information to the people. He gave a piece of advice to the media saying that it was not a healthy thing to sensationalize any news.

Stressing that journalists should serve the society with care and concern and ensure that only what was good for it was purveyed. While being aware of the impact of their reporting on the public, they should also remain alert about the good and the bad.

Cautioning that the ‘cash-for-news’ was a self-destructive trend, Murthy also advised the colleagues in the profession to keep themselves abreast of the information from different fields like law, history and literature.

Retired judge and State Police Grievances Authority president M P Chinnappa spoke on the occasion and urged the journalists to work in such a way as to make the democratic process successful. In recent times, some part of the media was found to sit in judgement in various cases, he pointed out.

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Terming this as an unhealthy trend, he requested them to desist from holding any person guilty until and unless his guilt was proved. The electronic media often tended to mislead the society and in the process deceived itself in pursuit of higher TRP. Advocating some kind of a self-restraint by the media, he expressed happiness over the fact that the younger generation was venturing into the media field which was a welcome development.

Kodagu deputy commissioner Mir Anees Ahmed said that the print, electronic and the social media had been playing their own roles and established their own spheres of influence. Thus they were contributing to the social change in their own ways, he said.

He requested the media not to lay needless stress on negative aspects of news, and instead, to give priority to truth and justice while conveying it. Even if the electronic media had grown to newer heights, it had not affected the influence of the print media. In spite of viewing the news on TV first, life could be incomplete without reading the morning newspapers, he said.

Zilla panchayat president Chodumada Shareen Subbaiah said the the role of the media in correcting the wrongs in the society was vital. The media and the journalists should work with this awareness in mind, she opined.

ZP vice president Allaranda Beena Bollamma spoke on the growing influence of the media which helped societal growth. Town municipal council president Julekabi spoke of the need to speak of the good aspects in the society while pointing out the bad ones.

Shakti Kannada daily’s editor-in-chief G Rajendra expressed grave concern over the increasing number of cases of murders and assaults on journalists. The society should have an attitude of either accepting or rejecting the reports rather than reacting with revenge or reprisal. He added that the media in most part was doing its duty with social responsibility.

Madhyama Academy secretary Shankarappa advised the media to give importance to truth rather than untruth. Journalists’ Union president Ajjamada Ramesh Kuttappa urged those in the mainstream of society to accept the good and the bad equally well. Press Club president Jagadish Belliappa asked the colleagues in the media to adhere to principles and professional conduct.

Karnataka Madhyama Academy president M A Ponnappa sought an assessment if the print and electronic media had worked for securing justice as a mirror to the society. Although good work was found here and there, it was difficult to find an answer to the question whether the media community had dedicated itself to the society.

He regretted that in a mad scramble for TRP ratings, crime issues were being glorified. In that direction, the media had failed to find a solution to the problems. While reporting crime, the role of the public in ensuring social security was also to be highlighted. When so much of time was given to the crime stories, the good job done by the police should also be reported to the society, he pleaded. He pointed out that this could improve the police-people relationship.

When media promptly reported the failure of various departments in executing developmental works, nothing was said about the job completed. It would be necessary to report both sides of the picture. A large number of youngsters were entering the field.

If they were not equipped with adequate knowledge of developmental journalism, social and political justice and religious and economic issues, the media in future could go the wrong way. Hence the syllabi and teachings in colleges of journalism must play a complementary role in this regard, he said.

Academy member B G Anantashayana, Patrika Bhavan trustee Manu Shenoy, senior journalists like U M Poovaiah, MUDA chairperson Suraiya Abrar and others were present.

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