Sonia Gandhi Leader of masses

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sonia Gandhi: Media need not be Government’s enemy; we welcome all criticism

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday inaugurated the National Media Centre. While addressing the gathering after the inauguration of the centre, Sonia Gandhi, who is also the Congress President, said that media need not be the enemy of the government and also said that the government welcome all criticism.

In her address Sonia Gandhi asserted “Media and the government often disagree. The editorial columns and the voices of the prime time news provide ample evidence for this.  But I venture to say that this can be healthy and there need not be any antagonism between the two”.

Sonia Gandhi also said that well-intentioned criticism of the policies of the government by the media was welcome, as the media played an important watchdog function. “We welcome the watchdog role of the media and well founded and well intentioned criticism of our policies and programmes. We recognise that there could be shortcoming that needs to be highlighted” said the Congress President.
”Our media has evolved over the years into a vibrant and matured institution that cherishes its freedom and independence and exercise it with a commendable responsibility at least most of the time. Its sheer diversity ensures that on balance it functions to benefit the institutions of democracy and democratic foundations of our society” she added.

The National Media Centre, located at 7-E, Raisina Road, is spread over a 1.95 acre plot on Raisina road here and equipped with latest technologies of information dissemination. It will have offices of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) as well as special facilities for media. The Centre has been constructed by the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) at a cost of Rs 60 crore over a period of three years with a total covered area of 13,867 sqm. The plot size is 7787.46 sqm (1.95 acres).

It has a press conference hall for 283 media persons, a briefing room for about 60 persons, 24 work stations for journalists, a library, media lounge and cafeteria. The press conference hall and media lounge are wi-fi enabled. Among the facilities provided at the centre are optic fibre Internet backbone with redundancy, mini data centre for application development and hosting webcast, including live webcast, Video feed to TV channels, IT facilities to media persons in work area and lounge, Internet telephony and AV Video Wall. The world class media centre will have two basements, a ground floor and four floors above it.

The Centre was initially conceptualised by the PIB in 1989 to facilitate greater interaction between the government and the media with a state-of- the-art equipped media centre.

Text of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi’s speech

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