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Media urged to highlight good work done in Parliament

Tuesday 26 April 2005

Special Correspondent

"If Parliament and its members are constantly portrayed in a negative light, it will harm not just the individuals and the institution but parliamentary democracy as such."

NEW DELHI: Concerned over the undermining of the institution of Parliament due to the public cynicism surrounding politicians and the political establishment on account of the constant portrayal of its members in in negative light, the Lok Sabha Speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, on Monday urged the media to also highlight the good work being done in the House.

``If Parliament and its members are constantly portrayed in a negative light, it will harm not just the individuals and the institution but parliamentary democracy as such.

"The public cynicism surrounding politicians and the political establishment, if permitted to grow unchecked, can undermine our parliamentary edifice and all that we have built up over the last five decades,’’ he said.

Inaugurating an orientation programme for press correspondents accredited to Parliament here, Mr. Chatterjee said while the media should be critical of the negative aspects of the country’s parliamentary or political system and highlight its failings, it should also consider whether sensationalisation of the proceedings in any manner, which only emphasises the negative aspects of parliamentary functioning, would not be detrimental to the system as a whole. ``It will strengthen our commitment to parliamentary democracy if the media also adequately highlights the substantial good work that is being done in Parliament.’’

Media needs to cooperate

He said there was a perception in parliamentary circles that often the media only highlights the disorderly scenes, leaving out the good work done in the Chambers. ``We are making every effort to address the problems, and the results have been positive. We need the cooperation of the media also in this regard.’’

The Speaker said he was of the view that Parliament and the media must respect each other and develop a healthy and cooperative working relationship. In today’s information-driven society, the media is the effective interface among and between the People, Parliament and the Administration. That being so, Mr. Chatterjee said, the Parliament and the media should complement and supplement each other in strengthening the country’s constitutional set-up as also in facilitating the emergence of an informed democracy in the country.

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