Media’s Moral Duty to Tell ‘Truth’ and Nothing But ‘Truth’: VP Dhankhar


GG News Bureau

New Delhi, 17th Nov. Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar has emphasised that it is the moral duty of the media to “tell the truth and nothing but the truth”.

He said that it is the responsibility of everyone connected with the media, be it journalists or owners of newspapers and other forms of communication, to be truthful.

Asserting that credibility is the biggest challenge that the media is facing today, VP said that it is surprising that this aspect is being blissfully ignored in some quarters.

Addressing the inaugural function of National Press Day at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi today, the Vice-President underlined the pivotal role of the Media in functioning democracy.

Noting that the media is not a power centre or stakeholder in realpolitik, he said, “It is painful to see that some journalists have taken it upon themselves to change the course of democratic process, contrary to ground sentiments.”

He cautioned that we need to be alive to such dangers.

Reflecting on the media’s challenges, the Vice-President noted, “It is commerce driven. It floats narratives. It has unfortunately become a stakeholder in agitation sustainability. It seeks the role of partisan influence in democratic process.” Urging swift action, he called upon the Press Council of India to intervene promptly against those intentionally spreading fake news and compromising professional ethics.

Referring to the media’s responsibility as a watchdog of the government, the VP said it is tasked with holding those in power accountable.

VP said that the commitment to truth, and the unwavering dedication of journalists will continue to make the media a force for good in our society and “no disruptive technology can be a substitute for a well-informed, conscientious journalist.”

Observing that Artificial Intelligence brings its own set of challenges and ethical questions, he said that the spread of misinformation, deep fakes, creation of echo chambers and micro targeting of information influence the democratic process, creating chaos and instability in society.

Noting Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an integral part of our technological landscape and it as a technology, “which is here to stay”, VP said that AI anchors and language models which can write media reports after collating information from multiple sources are threatening the jobs of thousands.

Highlighting the imperative of responsible and ethical journalism amidst the AI era, the Vice-President said that “It is paramount that journalists and media outlets uphold the highest standards of integrity”.

He also stressed that fact-checking, rigorous source verification and unwavering editorial independence are of importance in today’s media landscape.

Dhankhar urged everyone to move forward with “a spirit of innovation and responsibility, harnessing the potential of AI while upholding the principles of journalism that have served us well for generations”.

He expressed hope in a unified capacity to navigate this new era, ensuring that progressive media stands unwavering as a beacon of truth and accountability within our democracy.

Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports; Dr. L. Murugan, Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting and Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying; Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, Chairperson, Press Council of India; Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa; Nungsanglemba Ao, Secretary, Press Council of India and other dignitaries attended the event.

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