Advising media to exercise caution, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the spirit of inquiry must not morph into a "campaign of calumny" and "witch-hunt" is no substitute for investigative journalism.
Sharing the dais with Singh at the inauguration of Rs 60 crore National Media Centre in New Delhi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi also said, "At times the language and dignity of media discussion can be found wanting. Sometimes I, too, have to confess that the media makes the political establishment uncomfortable."
Maintaining that the media is not merely a mirror of business activity, Singh said it is a reflection of the entire society.
While reflecting the process of great societal changes brought out by the economic reform and liberalisation, the media has also been affected by these changes, he said.
"Change inevitably brings challenge in its wake. Those of you, who are the practitioners of media industry have a special responsibility to assess, tackle and overcome the challenges that two decades of socio-economic changes have brought about," the prime minister said.
He said in a vibrant democracy like India, which revels in free enquiry and quest for answers, this is a significant calling.
"But there is need for caution while executing this responsibility. A spirit of inquiry must not morph into a campaign of calumny. A witch-hunt is no substitute for investigative journalism. And personal prejudices must not replace the public good," Singh said.
The views of the prime minister and Congress president come against the backdrop of severe battering the UPA government and the ruling party have suffered in the last three years over a series of scams.
The NMC is a state-of-the-art facility, set up by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in the 75th year of its information wing--Press Information Bureau, to act as a communication hub and a single window facility for media persons.
Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing at the inauguration of the National Media Centre, in New Delhi on Saturday.
Photograph Courtesy: PIB