“Ethics and social responsibility should be the watch word of every journalist.” – B.G Vergesethe

Posted on Nov 29 2013 - 6:51pm by IBC News

Bangalore,Nov 29 ; The Department of Communications, St. Joseph’s College, conducted Mediacon, a national conference on Media Ethics and Social Responsibility.The event was organised by the Josephite Media Forum (JMF).
Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah, the former Chief Justice of India, was the chief guest, while eminent journalist and former editor of The Hindustan Timesand The Indian Express, B.G Verghesewas the keynote speaker at the conference which began at 9:00 am.
Along with Justice Venkatachaliah and B.G Vergese, were Dr.Fr. Praveen MartisSJ(principal, St. Joseph’s College) and Dr.Fr. Francis Arackal(Head of Department of Communication, St. Joseph’s College).
The welcome address was delivered by Derek Francis, a student from the department of communications.
Dr.Arackal(HOD)gave an overview on the theme of the conference in his Introductory Speech. He also spoke about the prevalent media practices in various media houses all over the country.
“If 20th century was a hundred years of technology and development, the 21st century would be twenty thousand years of technology and development”, said Justice Venkatachaliahin the context of the progress of technology in the recent times. He predicted technology to be the greatest factor which is going to change the face of the earth.
He also spoke about the major issues confronting the Freedom of Press and Right to Free Speech, as important aspects of constitutional democracy.
B.G Vergesethe Keynote speaker, touched on topics such as the ethics being followed today in Journalism, distortion of news, among several other topics; such as, the importance of Social Responsibility to journalism. “Media becomes the public trusties by being dutiful. Ethics and social responsibility should be the watch word of every journalist.”
He highlighted the issue of misinterpretation and one sided perspective of the media and also remedied it with the suggestion that any story should always be reported from both viewpoints. The media has a duty to provide a background for better understanding of issues relating to society. This may not be possible at one go, but through careful investigation and follow-up, the media can be objective.
He shared with the audience the evils of paid news and private treaties which are market based interests; in view of the several controversies relating to degrading ethics in journalism in recent times.
“It is important to look at the darkest side of the media to get the better side of it”, said B.G Verghese.He portrayed the press council as a weak instrument. He highlighted the absence of a statutory complaints commission for the electronic media, though tribunals have been set up with a limited reach. Hence some measure of regulation to ensure responsibility is the need of the hour.
The Vote of Thanks was given by Carol D’Souza, student co-ordinator.
There were paper presenters from different parts of the country to present topics like ‘Scrutinizing the Watchdog’s Violence’, ‘Gender Issues’, ‘Selling Stereotypes: on advertising ethics’, and ‘Thinking about Alternatives’, with different eminent moderators for every session.
There was a press conference held right after the inaugural session where B. G. Vargese said that integrity is the key for journalists, whatever the background one comes from. Truthfulness and honesty should be maintained by journalists while reporting. He also spoke of how social media is playing an important role in the recent times by reaching out to the public. He suggested how the negative and positive aspects of the media should be balanced.

About the Author

Leave A Response