Personal ethical standards should guide media: Tewari

New Delhi, Jan 15: TRPs and sensationalism in the media are realities that need to be transformed slowly, with personal ethical standards playing the guiding force, said Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari here Tuesday.

Addressing the convocation ceremony of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) here, the minister said “the question of ethics is important and defines each of our individual actions”.

“Media has a larger role in disseminating information in a manner that is responsible and candid… it is an ethical challenge,” said Tewari, adding that personal ethical standards should be the benchmark while exercising Article 19 of the constitution on the right to freedom of speech and expression.

On the question of self regulation of media, the minister said he would “like to err on the side of self-regulation”.

He said self-regulation as a process needs to be broad-based and consolidated and there should be a “happy marriage between self regulation and ethical standards”.

Tewari said there was a view that the government is a “big brother and predator”, which he said was a valid argument and he personally respects creative freedom.

Drawing a parallel between the stock markets and freedom of expression, he said: “Creative potential or animal spirits is best exemplified in stock marketsSo, should capital markets be allowed full play Somewhere, it is a professional issue to be regulated.”

Touching upon the new media – of the internet and social networks, Tewari said the internet has completely transformed communication.

“The phenomenon of new media, the crores of young individuals active in social media.. they are all broadcasters in their own right.. empowered by putting their opinion in public spaces.”

He said in the next few years, the media will be highly transformed and said IIMC should face up to the challenges of the new technological advances and adapt to the changing circumstances.

He also said that IIMC should strive to become the bar for journalistic training, not only in India but in the world.

Many students were conferred with diplomas for courses in journalism, advertising and public relations at the four centres of the Institute – New Delhi, Dhenkanal, Aizawl and Amravati.