Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday called for neutrality in news and said that loud debates on television may get attention but not credibility, PTI reported.

“If you decide to invite guests who are polarising, who spread false narratives and who shout at the top of their lungs, the credibility of your channel goes down,” Thakur said. “Your decisions regarding the guest, the tone and visuals define your credibility in the eyes of the audience.”

The minister made the remarks while addressing an event organised by the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development – an inter-governmental body of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. It is based in Kuala Lumpur.

In his address, Thakur said that mainstream media organisations face a great challenge to provide truthful, accurate, and reliable news while preserving media ethics and values.

“Are you going to watch as the younger audience switch and sweep through the shrill on TV news or are you going to bring back the neutrality in news and discussion in debates to stay ahead of the game?” he asked. “Are you going to show visuals that grab eyeballs and inflame anger or show restraint and project visuals in context to showcase the full picture?”

The minister also said that he strongly believes that journalists are duty-bound to report the news without fabrication, despite temptations to compete with those who propagate false information.

“Instead of compromising our values in this fierce competition, we must work hard to preserve professionalism,” he advised.

Thakur also urged Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development to train and equip media practitioners with the best professional skills. “India stands ready to support your efforts,” he said.