He also advised the foreign correspondents to acquaint themselves with the “country’s culture, history, ethos, traditions and the ways of living of its people”.

Dont form opinions based on hyper-critical English media Naidu to foreign journos
news Speech Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 14:01

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday urged foreign journalists in the country not to depend on “hyper-critical English media” to form their opinions.

Naidu was addressing the 60th anniversary of The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia in New Delhi.

“Quite a few of you make an effort to understand India and South Asia by travelling in the region and meeting people, while many of you tend to depend on what appears in our hyper critical English media and form opinions,” the Vice President said.

He also advised them to acquaint themselves with the “country’s culture, history, ethos, traditions and the ways of living of its people”.

Naidu also stressed on reportage around terrorism, where he said: “A terrorist is a terrorist irrespective of whether he kills innocents in Kashmir or Kentucky. But surprisingly some media organizations describe those indulging in terrorism in Kashmir as separatists or militants, while any similar incident in the West is immediately dubbed as a terror attack and the perpetrators as terrorists.”

The Vice President added that there is a perception that the foreign media only projects bad news and ignores anything positive.”As you are well aware, it is always better to avoid the pitfalls of stereotyping and magnifying only the negative realities," he said.

Terming incidences of communal violence as “aberrations”, he said, “If a handful of religious fundamentalists indulge in violence, the entire country cannot be described as intolerant and that majoritarianism is being imposed. Nothing is farther from the truth. India is a flourishing and vibrant parliamentary democracy with a free press and complete religious freedom to its people.”

He urged foreign reporters to travel, meet people in order to present a true picture of the country.

“In this digital era when one can get to know what is happening around the globe with a click of the mouse, it is all the more important for foreign correspondents to provide nuanced, balanced and objective coverage,” he said.

Naidu’s comment comes less than a week after the Prime Minister’s office withdrew a circular issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting which had accreditation guidelines for curbing fake news.

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