Shri G. Promod, President, Press Club,

Shri R.S. Babu, Chairman, Kerala Media Academy,

Shri Rishi K. Manoj, Director, Institute of Journalism,

Shri M. Radhakrishnan, Secretary, Press Club,

Shri Suresh Vellimangalam, District President, KUWJ,

Shri S. Sreekesh, Treasurer, Press Club,

Madhyama Suhruthukkale,

Sahodaree Sahodaranmare

Ellaavarkkum Ente Namaskaaram.


       It gives me great joy to inaugurate the National Media Expo held in connection with the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Institute of Journalism, Press Club, Thiruvananthapuram.

Let me at the outset, compliment the office bearers of the Press Cluband the Management Committee of the Institutefor celebrating this milestone in a befitting manner. Let me also share with the students, teachers and alumni, their joy and pride in their alma mater crossing the Golden jubilee mark.

As all of us are aware, the Institute of Journalism, established in 1968, has a glorious history of training hundreds of youngsters as journalists and media professionals over the last five decades. This was one of the earliest schools of journalism in the country, and certainly the first media school in Kerala and the first in the country started by working journalists.

I am informed that the growth of this Institute from humble settings to one with a spacious building, state of the art computer lab, recording and editing studio and a rich library, has been the result of the careful patronage of the journalist fraternity in the state capital. Academically, it has registered a remarkable growth from an evening P.G Diploma course in the early days to full time courses in Print and Electronic journalism, a course in New Media, an evening diploma course in Citizen Journalism and a short term course in Photo Journalism. It is good that in keeping with the latest developments in Media, the Institute is planning to offer a MOJO” that is, “Mobile Journalism” course as part of the Golden Jubilee.

While celebrating a landmark like the Golden Jubilee, we can certainly take pride in the hundreds of former students of this Institute, who have excelled in journalism.  This is also a time to remember the service of the faculty and the former directors starting with the Founder Director, the late M. Sivaram who had worked with the Reuters, the late K.C. John of The Times of India, the Late K.P.Nair of The Hindu, Shri N.R.S. Babu of Kerala Kaumudi, Shri V.K Soman of Malayala Manorama etc., In fact, the Golden Jubilee is also an occasion to plan the future development of the Institute by building on the academic foundations laid so far.

I feel that any discussion on the future of this Institute should also touch upon the present and future of journalism in Kerala and India.

Indian journalism has evolved through a historic fight for independence, which had conferred on journalists, the status of   social activists. Upon gaining independence, our Constitution guaranteed the Freedom of the Press by implication, as part of the citizen's right to express views freely and in consideration of the media's role in mobilizing the masses and propagating the ideals of democracy, equality and freedom.

An independent Press is a trusted corner stone of democracy and therefore, the Press has a responsibility to prove to be worthy of this trust, through ethical practices in journalism. Today, the concept of objectivity in journalism has been challenged and 'taking a stand' has become more important. Often, the boundary between news and views is just not clear. We are also in the era of Post Truth where emotions override facts, which were once regarded sacred in journalism. The Editorial freedom often bends before to Advertorials and Paid News conceals real issues. In short, news has become a commodity to be sold and journalistic ethics are struggling to be different from the ethics of the market.

Today, the digitization of the media enables everyone to be contributors to the on-line media. The online platforms offer an unbridled freedom which has resulted in a stronger culture of participative journalism as well as blatant misuse of the media, especially social media. While the participative culture deserves to be encouraged, the instances of misuse have to be controlled. The misuse of the media raises issues of accountability, ethics and legality of actions. We have reached a stage where fake news can result in the eruption of communal clashes and even calls for hartals.  Such trends call for greater vigilance on the part of responsible media-persons to help society by exposing fake reports.

In fact, the reckless use of social media also calls for a certain level of media education in society. I would suggest that the Institute of Journalism could initiate a campaign for the responsible use of social media among the youth. You may recall that many young people fall prey to the lure of mud-slinging through on-line platforms. The rise in the number of cases registered against the irresponsible use of social media points to the need for such a campaign.

We are all aware of the leading role played by various media in the social transformation of Kerala. Social transformation is a never ending process and so, Kerala society expects the positive participation of the media as a corrective force in all its activities. Some people may resent the criticism by the media; but if the aim of criticism is correction, society would certainly accept it. At the same time, we should remember that an excessively cynical attitude is not becoming of a responsible medium.

I must also remind you that the context of what we report is equally important as the content of the news.  Quite often,
I see fragments of a sentence being cleverly chosen and made into a sensation. The ethical practice of explaining the context of that sentence is unfortunately, not followed.

I am informed that the Media Expo covers the various stages in the development of the media in Kerala and India. A closer look would reveal through these media, the transition of ourselves and our society to what we are today. The language and style of writing have changed a lot; so have our attitudes to people and issues. Despite all criticism against the media, we have to acknowledge their role in sensitizing society to the issues of gender minorities, the need for environmental protection, cleanliness drive, green protocol, the value of women empowerment, the rights of children etc.  In addition to this, each year I request the media to inform the public about;

  1. TB Seals Sales Campaign
  2. Observing Earth Hour in the month of March
  3. National Lok Adalat
  4. Armed Forces Flag Day on 07th December
  5. Importance of Blood Donation
  6. Awareness about Glaucoma


In conclusion, I wish the Institute of Journalism greater glory in the years to come. I hope you would instill in your students the courage to stand with the people who need help and to support the downtrodden. Tomorrow's journalism is in partly in the hands of the journalism educators.  The training imparted by the educators will certainly influence their future performance and adherence to ethics. Trainers must convince students that one who steps into journalism must be aware of the social role he or she plays. I hope you would fulfill this responsibility with utmost sincerity.

My best wishes for the success of the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

I compliment the organizers for conducting this function in a befitting manner.

Ellavarkkum Ente Aashamsakal


Jai Hind