Mired in controversy over sleazy remarks made by Electricity Minister MM Mani, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has now "requested" the media to introspect on whether they were "crossing their limits."
MM Mani's alleged remarks on the women's group Pembilai Orumai on Sunday has since caused major embarrassment to the state government.
Taking to Facebook on Thursday, CM Pinarayi Vijayan had a word of caution for media organizations. The CM had made similar comments on Tuesday, during an award ceremony in Thiruvananthapuram.
"What is media's role in the society's development? Should media be a business governed only by controversies? It is necessary for a larger discussion on this to take place. It is the unhealthy competition in the media industry that has brought things down to this level," Pinarayi wrote.
Making no efforts to hide his disagreement with television news channels, the CM said, "it is the added responsibility of every reporter to create topics to be discussed in the evening debate shows."
"The idea here is to find topics that are suitable to be debated upon...that are controversial and will have multiple counter arguments. As far as media organizations are concerned, they are not bothered about what these discussions are giving to society. However, you (media) should know that society understands everything. People have been expressing concern as to why they should watch television debate shows, that neither gives them clear information, nor provides clarity in arguments. When such a thought reaches more people, there won't be anyone to watch these shows," Pinarayi's note in Malayalam reads.
Urging the media to exercise restraint, Pinarayi "suggested" that it would be in the right interest of the media to check if they are already losing their audience to sensationalism.
The Communist leader also had a word of advice to help media organizations regain its credibility.
"It would do good if you (media) select issues that are relevant to the public and bring in a diverse panel to discuss about it. I request all media organizations to give it a thought," he said.
In his Facebook post, the CM observed that the media, while criticizing those in power, even compromised its fundamental ethics by doing so.
"In the last few days, some media organizations have been doing exactly the opposite. It is the duty of the media to remind those in power about their limits. But the very organizations should not shy away from introspecting whether they themselves are crossing their limits," the CM wrote.
This is however, not the first time Pinarayi Vijayan has publicly acknowledged his disagreement with the local media. In September last year, the CM had accused certain channels of "hiring" protesters to wave black flag before his car.