Ansari calls for fearless journalism

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) Vice President Hamid Ansari on Friday said the media must stand up to fear, seek information and speak out.

“It must not hesitate to tell the powers their errors in commission and omission. It is a fundamental function of the media and a basic requirement for the functioning of a healthy democracy,” Ansari said after giving away the C.H. Mohammed Koya National Journalism Awards 2016.

Speaking on the freedom enjoyed by the press in India, Ansari said: “In its 2016 assessment of press freedom in India, the Freedom House, Freedom of Press report, categorised India as ‘partially free’, with an overall score of 41 (out of 100).”

“The Press status report by the organisation Reporters sans Frontiers was even more critical, ranking India 133 out of 180 countries in terms of press vitality and freedom.”

The Vice President said: “Freedom of media is vital for accountability and transparency. It is a pillar of democracy, the rule of law and good governance and contributes to more inclusive and sustainable development, and in empowering citizens of our country.”

The awards were instituted in the memory of former Chief Minister of Kerala C. H. Mohammed Koya.