Journalism has a vital role to play in progress of a nation: Kapil Sibal

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New Delhi, March 22 (ANI): Union Minister for Human Resources Development Kapil Sibal on Monday said that the journalism has a vital role to play in the progress of a nation.

Addressing during a programme related to the giving away of IPI-India Awards for Excellence in Journalism for the year 2009 in the national capital, Sibal said that the two key entities for democracy were Free Press and Free Judiciary.

On the aspect of freedom of speech, Sibal reminded the journalists that it does not merely mean passing adverse comments on any issue, event or a person but speaking for those millions who do not have the voice to express their grievances and make them heard.

In the same vein, Sibal also had a dig at politicians when he mentioned that a majority of the leaders do have the voice to say that they rarely use and it is the media that lets them speak. That is how he would define freedom of speech, Sibal stated.

Touching about the 'Trial by Media', Sibal said it has emerged due to the failure of the obligatory machinery of law.

Further, Sibal regretted the fact that these days several editors assign beats to journalists who lack the basic knowledge of the subject matter.

As such, he suggested, the journalists should cultivate commitment, passion, and attitude in their profession.

Earlier, Dr. Justice A. S. Anand, former Chief Justice of India had raised the topic of trial by the media.

He said that two odd trends in the media of late are against journalistic ethics namely; the media trial and the paid news.

The IPI-India Award for the year 2009 were presented to Bidisha Ghosal of The Week magazine for her in-depth coverage on sexual exploitation of the widows in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra after their farmer husbands had committed suicide.

The other award winner was Indian Express. It was conferred for the daily's exposition of radical Hindus being the masterminds in the Malegaon blasts.

IPI-India is the Indian chapter of the Vienna-based International Press Institute, a forum of editors, media experts and journalists, and it is committed to free press. By Suresh Panje (ANI)

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