Bhubaneswar: India TV chairman and editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma inaugurated a new Odia news channel Prameya News7 in Bhubaneswar on Saturday in the presence of leading intellectuals, political leaders and artistes of Odisha.

Attended by Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Odisha Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Panda, the gathering was addressed by renowned flutist Padma Vibhushan awardee Hari Prasad Chaurasia.

Addressing the gathering, Rajat Sharma said: “The love and affection of our viewers is the single biggest source of our strength in India TV. A news channel will be acceptable to viewers, only when it will take up grassroot issues concerning common man in a serious manner.”

“TV news journalists must now take up their responsibility in all seriousness, as they are living on a razor’s edge”, Sharma added.

He said, there has been a sea change in the TV news viewing and presentation. “TV news channels must take inspiration from the manner in which newspapers used to work during the freedom movement.

“The accused in Jessica Lal murder would not have gone scot-free, and people would not have come out on the streets of Delhi in thousands to protest the Nirbhaya gangrape murder case, were it not for the news channels which raised these issues vigilantly. TV journalists are now working in a more responsible manner”, Sharma added.

“Today’s TV media is walking on a razor’s edge. The very persons in politics who were happy getting live coverage of their press conferences, are now up in arms to tame the media by issuing threats.

“Mediapersons will now have to work carefully and must not slip. They must cross-check each and every report that they file, allow the accused to place their viewpoints, and check out the veracity of news before trying to sensationalize it. It would be better if they avoid prying into the private lives of people”, Sharma added.

“Many politicians today come to power taking help of TV, but once they come to power, they try to shut out the media. They seek to control TV news channels, impose restrictions and even threaten to send mediapersons to jail. We in the TV media cannot overlook such threats.

“We have to ensure that nobody can raise a finger on the authenticity and objectivity of our reports. It is also important that we measure how much of the news that we telecast is acceptable to our viewers.”, Sharma added.

“We can win the confidence of our viewers if we unconditionally apologize for any news that has been wrongly telecast”, Rajat Sharma said.

The event was addressed by Prameya News7 channel group editor Gopalkrushna Mohapatra, News7 editor Ardhendu Das and CEO Sunil Das.

Source: IANS