Journalists should be like honeybees -- producing honey and at the same time stinging to make a lasting impact and not like the fly which only spreads dirt, Modi said while inaugurating the platinum jubilee celebration of North East's leading English daily 'The Assam Tribune' here.
Modi said "the media faces immense challenge in a fast-moving society like ours. Earlier, we got news once in 24 hours but now we get at least 24 news in one minute and the challenge is to be trusted and remain credible".
Credibility is a major challenge for the media as, he said, "merely reading the news is not enough but one has to read between the lines to ascertain whether it is credible."
"Had we ever seen earlier any signboard at any shop saying 'pure ghee available here'? But now we see such things. Similarly, media, too, has taken to promotion in a big way with slogans like 'saccha (true) khabar and tej (fast) khabar which makes one wary about its veracity," Modi said. The reader "also becomes doubtful that something is wrong when a news report is excessively quoted to a 'reliable source' as people expect the media to have the power to take responsibility for what they are reporting'', he said.
"It is very easy to start a news organisation but to remain credible is a challenge," the Prime Minister said.
Modi asked the media to accept the challenges of threat to freedom of expression posed by certain quarters. "In a democracy, we realise the importance of freedom of expression only when it is denied to us just like the importance of breathing is realised when one cannot breathe for two seconds," Modi said.