08 Dec 2018
About women-safety, Sumitra Mahajan says media reports focus on negativity
Addressing the 51st convocation of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in Delhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Friday said the media exercises enormous power and it should contribute to building a positive image of the society.
While speaking on the issue of women safety, Mahajan said the reports focused on negativity.
She said she was questioned about this situation abroad.
Nothing happened to me, my daughter and daughter-in-law: Mahajan
Explaining about her trips out of India, Mahajan said, "When I go abroad, people ask me 'what's happening in India, madam. Your country is not safe now'."
She said she answered nothing happened to her in the last 75 years in the nation.
"Nothing has happened to me, my daughter or daughter-in-law. There's nothing like that. It happens in your country also," she said.
She said focus shouldn't be only on crimes
Mahajan then said she agreed crimes happened, but that wasn't the only thing to focus on.
She said the same about sessions in Parliament and added it is not that only abuses are hurled inside the building.
"Politically, is only abusive language being used or something significant is also being spoken about," Mahajan asked.
Do only arguments take place inside Parliament? No, says Mahajan
"Do mass communication students think that no discussions or debates take place in Parliament at all. This is not the reality. Discussions do take place, but many a time newspapers don't even carry the good things being spoken about in Parliament," she said.
Mahajan believes a lot can be learned from US journalism
Heaping praises on American journalism and citing the example of 9/11 attacks, Mahajan said many people died in the awful terror activity, but newspapers did their jobs with responsibility.
"A lot of blood was spilled, and there must have been gory scenes, but not a single such photo appeared in the newspapers," she said.
She urged journalists to learn something from their American counterparts.
Mahajan is not pleased with crime reportage
Mahajan also slammed crime reporters who publish stories just on the basis of a police complaint. She asked, "Is it the right thing to do? Do you know the entire story?"
She called for inclusion of more languages in mass communication and noted only Hindi and English won't do.
To graduating students, Mahajan said the "package of life" was more important than "pay package".