Media can play crucial role in exposing corruption, says Mukul

CM addresses media persons on National Press Day

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma speaks at a programme organised on the occasion of National Press Day in city on Saturday. (ST)

SHILLONG: Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has said that ordinary citizens are not able to expose corrupt practices due to fear of being victimized by those involved in corruption and said that this is where media has a crucial role to play.

“Although corruption is all pervasive at grassroots level, people have a tendency to close their eyes to it. Hence the media should expose these corrupt practices and this is the primary role of the media,” he said.

Sangma said speaking as the Chief Guest at a function organized to celebrate National Press Day here on Saturday.

The programme was organised by the Department of Information and Public Relations in association with the Shillong Press Club.

“Having listened to the deliberations of the enlightened panelists I am now convinced that media and government are inseparable, as both are here to serve democracy,” he said.

He added that while negative stories of wrongdoings are reported the duty of the media is also to inform people of positive things that Government does so that those who work earnestly are motivated to do better.

“Everyone needs encouragement; (after all we are human beings,” Sangma said.

Stating that district-level planning is not happening in consultation with people, Sangma said that politicians capture the aspirations of people at the grassroots and formulate that into an action plan.

He felt that District Planning and Development Committees (DPDC) and even the Planning Board have become redundant institutions but transition to better, more responsive institutions takes time.

Sangma also lamented the fact that often what he speaks at press conferences is misrepresented. “How will people who read the news rate the Chief Minister when what he speaks is not captured and reproduced as was intended?” Sangma queried.

To better capacitate journalists, Sangma said the Government is willing to invest in their training and capacity building.

Sangma also dwelt on the “Letters to the Editor” which he said were the genuine grievances of people and ought to be addressed diligently by the Government.

Earlier, Home Minister, Roshan Warjri also addressed the gathering. She urged journalists to be fair in their reports and not to hurt the reputations of people unless they are sure of what they publish as a reputation once tarnished is hard to regain.

National Press Day is usually observed on November 16 but it being at Sunday the day was observed a day earlier.