Nagpur, Sep 18 (UNI) Former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) spokesman and veteran journalist M G Vaidya today supported the move by the Government to chalk out a code of conduct for the media.
Speaking on 'Responsible Journalism' at a programme hosted by the Media Club of the Department of Mass Communication of Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj (RTM) Nagpur University here, Mr Vaidya said the Government was drawing up the code because the media itself had not done so. Although the media is free, it is necessary to lay down the limits of such freedom, he added.
Sting operations are fine as long as they are carried out in public interest and to expose misdeeds. However, the media had no right to deliberately defame an individual. The so-called stings carried out against a Delhi-based teacher Uma Khurana, Union Minister of State for Home Manikrao Gavit and former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office-bearer Sanjay Joshi had turned out to be fake, he pointed out.
Mr Vaidya said 24-hour television news channels telecast laughter shows because they do not have news content to show round the clock.
''If a viewer does not like the shows on a channel, he should not see it,'' he added.
Contrary to popular belief, newspapers have and will retain their relevance even in the age of television. While the visual and the audio vanish into thin air, the written word constitutes a permanent record, Mr Vaidya, who was the editor of local Marathi daily 'Tarun Bharat' for nearly 17 years, said.
Delivering the introductory remarks, RTM Nagpur University Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr G S Parasher said the electronic media's tendency to play up trivial issues and its crisis of credibility have put a great responsibility on the print medium. As a result, time will come when print journalists will have to establish their credibility by carrying their names with every news item that they publish, he added.