Modi recently spoke about the importance of using editorial skills for public welfare and also verbally hit out at certain critics who run the Modi-hate industry.
On Monday, November 6, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Chennai and interacted with people during ‘Dina Thanthi’ Tamil Daily’s 75th-anniversary celebration event held at Chennai’s Madras University Centenary Hall. Tamil Nadu’s Governor Banwari Lal Purohit, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami and deputy CM O. Panneerselvam were also present during the event.
P. Adithanar founded the paper in 1942 and today; it is Tamil Nadu’s most sold one. The newspaper is published in 16 different editions, including Mumbai and Dubai.
The Prime Minister congratulated the team behind the newspaper for completing 75 years and also appreciated the fact that everyone, from a daily wage earner to the highest political functionary, in the state, prefers reading Dina Thanthi. He also highlighted the fact that even in this era of digital news sources; the print has still managed to retain its reader base.
“In spite of news channels, many people begin their day with a cup of tea in one hand and newspaper in the other,” said Modi, during his interaction with the crowd.
Modi’s rebuttal to Raj Kamal Jha’s criticism
Indian Express Editor Raj Kamal Jha had indirectly criticized Arnab Goswami and even the NDA Government during last year’s Ramnath Goenka awards for excellence in journalism. PM Modi had highlighted the importance of editors and credibility of journalists during the event.
“If you don’t have the facts, just put a flag in the frame and hide behind it,” said Jha. Raj Kamal Jha had pointed out to the Prime Minister that criticism from the government is always good news for journalism.
Now, coming back to the main point, during the Daily Thanthi event, Modi stressed on the importance of the role played by the media in shaping the society.
While highlighting the importance of vernacular newspapers and their contribution towards freedom struggle, Modi also used this opportunity to criticize journalists by urging them to focus more on professionalism, ethics, and objectivity. Using one of Gandhi’s quotes, Modi said misuse of journalism is nothing less than a crime.
“Freedom to write does not give freedom to be factually incorrect. There is a need to use editorial freedom for the public interest,” said the former Gujarat Chief Minister.
After Ramnath Goenka awards, this was the first time that the Prime Minister spoke about media and the need for reforms in the same. Were these points a befitting reply to Raj Kamal Jha’s indirect criticism? Well, several political analysts think so.