Freedom to write does not include the freedom to be 'factually incorrect'', PM Modi to media

Freedom to write does not include the freedom to be "factually incorrect'', PM Modi to media

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Dina Thanthi was a clear message to the present-day media. He talked about media's importance, credibility, accountability and what the focus of media should be . He also spoke against factually incorrect news and misuse of power by media.

By: || Updated: 06 Nov 2017 05:15 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the celebration of Dina Thanthi. Image : Twitter (@narendramodi)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at Tamil daily Dina Tanthi’s celebration was more of a message to the contemporary media. He brought to the forefront the issue of “factually incorrect news” and also discussed the role of media in governance, at length.

Dina Thanthi which is the largest Tamil daily celebrated successful completion of 75 years on Monday. In a grand celebration the Prime Minister addressed a huge gathering at the Madras University. Veteran actor Rajnikanth was also a part of the gathering.

Amidst all the ado around government's recent action against a digital news portal, Prime Minister Modi spoke about editorial freedom of media. He said that the freedom to write does not include the freedom to be "factually incorrect'' and that misuse of power by media is a crime.


He also said that media must make an extra effort to maintain credibility as every citizen analyses & attempts to verify the news that comes to him through multiple sources. 


Speaking about the accountability of media he said that media has as much social accountability as the judiciary. He said that even though media may be owned by private individuals, it serves a public purpose. As scholars say, it is an instrument to produce reform through peace, rather than by force


He also talked about what the focus of media should be. According to him media should highlight the achievements and story of Indian populace rather than politics-centric news. 

On a light note, Prime Minister Modi said that he has often heard people wonder, as to how the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.


Since the occasion was of platinum jubilee celebration of a media house , it was anything but evident that the discussion would be centered around media. The Prime Minister said that media is a mean of transforming society. "In a broader context, media is a mean of transforming society. That is why we refer to the media as the fourth pillar of democracy”,  he said.

Emphasising the importance of vernacular media he said that the regional media is as important now as it was in old times.


With recurring natural calamities all around the world, he also exhorted the media to try and provide coverage to the agenda and to create awareness about how to combat those.


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