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Democracy cannot survive without a free and fearless press: Naidu


Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today said that any attack on the freedom of the press is detrimental to national interest and should be opposed by everyone.

On the occasion of the National Press Day, the Vice President said: “Democracy cannot survive without a free and fearless press”. He was speaking at a Press Council of India webinar.

Naidu said the press in India has always been in the vanguard of protecting and strengthening the foundations of democracy. “A robust, free and vibrant media is as important as an independent judiciary in consolidating democracy and strengthening constitutional rule of law”, the Vice President stressed.

Defining journalism as an honest mission, he praised the media for playing an outstanding role in empowering the people and furthering national interest.

At the same time, Naidu advised the media on its part to be fair, objective and accurate in its reporting. “Sensationalism should be avoided and the tendency to mix news with views needs to be curbed. Also, there should be greater space for development news in our reporting”, he added.

The Vice President also praised the print and electronic media journalists for turning into frontline warriors in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring non-stop coverage of all happenings, unmindful of the grave risks associated with a pandemic situation.

“My deepest appreciation to each and every journalist, cameramen and others, who have been striving constantly to disseminate news and information”, he added.

Stating that journalists should not be left high and dry in these difficult times, the Vice President appealed to all stakeholders to come together and find innovative solutions to the extraordinary situation created by the coronavirus.

Naidu also stressed the importance of conveying the right information at the right time in a pandemic situation, “especially when there is a plethora of fake news”, he observed.

Witnessing that the pandemic has emphasized upon the need for media organizations to adopt flexible and resilient business models, Naidu pointed out that more people were staying at home and increasingly relying on the media and the entertainment industry for the latest information and to fight the isolation caused by the lack of social interactions.

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