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06 Nov 2017

Modi in Chennai: Highlights media's importance, offers flood assistance

PM Narendra Modi landed in Chennai even as the city is witnessing heavy rains. Modi met CM Palaniswami and deputy CM O Panneerselvam; and after reviewing the situation, he offered central assistance for relief and rescue operations.

The PM also attended the 75th anniversary celebrations of Daily Tanthi, a Tamil newspaper.

Modi also called on DMK supremo M Karunanidhi at his residence. Here's more!

In context

What are Modi's engagements in Chennai?

Modi praises the vernacular press and its contribution to society

At the Daily Tanthi's 75th anniversary celebration, Modi said that as the British government was "fearful of India's vernacular press," the Vernacular Press Act of 1878 was enacted. He stressed that regional language newspapers' role "remains as important today as it was then."

'Newspapers don't just give news, they mould our thinking'


'Newspapers don't just give news, they mould our thinking'

Modi explained why the media is democracy's fourth pillar. He said that newspapers today do not just give news but they also mould our thinking, making it a "means of transforming society."

Praising the media's reach, Modi said "I have often heard people wonder, as to how the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper."

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'Freedom to write doesn't include freedom to be factually incorrect'

Modi also advised the media to use "editorial freedom" wisely in public interest. He said "the freedom to write does not include the freedom to be factually incorrect" and that misusing the power to write "is criminal."

Further, though owned by individuals, it serves a "public purpose" of reforming society. Thus, it has as much social accountability as an elected government or judiciary.


What does PM Modi expect from the media?

Modi lamented that most "media discourse today revolves around politics." He wished that the media would focus more on the stories and achievements of the 125cr Indians, as they make India what it is.

He also urged the media to take the lead in reporting about and providing ways to combat climate change as frequency of natural calamities has increased across the world.

Other engagements

What else did Modi do in Chennai?

Meanwhile, Modi promised central assistance for dealing with the damage caused by the heavy rains, due to northeast monsoon's onset.

Modi made a courtesy call to former CM Karunanidhi, as he has been ill since 2016, due to a drug-induced allergy. His first public appearance in over a year was last month when he attended DMK mouthpiece Murasoli's 75th anniversary.

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