Sibal asks journalist to be more professional

New Delhi: Saying that there was “lots wrong with journalism” in India, Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal Monday called for more professionalism in the field and asked journalists to brush up their knowledge before shooting questions for bytes.

“(There is) lots wrong with journalism. Oscar Wilde said the public has an insatiable curiosity to know everything except everything worth knowing. And journalism (here) is conscious of this and supplies their demand…journalism must be interesting.”

“My concern is that we find people (in journalism) without any subject-matter knowledge and bytes are taken and splashed. There is an important responsibility,” Sibal said.

Sibal was speaking at an award fuction organised by the International Press Institute-India (IPI).

Without naming anyone in particular, the minister also slammed senior journalists and media heads.

“Big journalists with no subject-matter knowledge do great harm to public interest. We need more professionalism…That can be sorted out!”

Sibal gave away the Excellence in Journalism award 2009 and said individual media houses and the public need to decide if trials by media are required.

“Why is there trial by the media? The reason is that those who are obliged by the law do not speak. Those obliged by the law to investigate they do not…in those circumstances what is the public interest that needs to be served?…Then the public has the right to know what the facts are,” he said.

At the function The Week magazine and the Indian Express were awarded.

Receiving the award, Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta expressed concern about the increasing trend of paid news.

“Even more than paid news, I am worried that a lot of people in India are getting confused that sting (operation) is journalism,” he said.

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