Under fire for using the word “presstitutes” for the media, Union minister V K Singh today said he apologises to journalists barring a small section of media persons who were carrying out a “motivated campaign” against him.
Arguing that he never used the word for the entire press, Singh said he believes that 90 per cent of the media is doing its job with responsibility.
“I apologise if the 90 per cent felt bad. I used the word for the 10 per cent and they deserve that word,” Singh told PTI here, claiming that there have been worst terms used by others for this 10 per cent media including “bazaaru” and “paid”.
Singh, who was in Djibouti to oversee evacuation of Indians from Yemen, had on Tuesday compared the rescue operation from the war-torn country with his visit to the Pakistani mission recently, saying the evacuation was “less exciting”. He later made snide remarks against a TV channel for playing up his comparison remarks.
“Friends what do you expect from presstitutes,” the Minister of State for External Affairs said in a tweet late on Tuesday, adding that last time, the TV anchor thought there was ‘O’ in place of ‘E’.
His remarks elicited sharp reactions from political parties as well as a media body.The former Army chief also said that the media organisations should come together to set up an effective watchdog.
“It is time that the media itself seriously looked at creating an effective watchdog organisation that has real powers. Today, the media’s own credibility is at stake and unless there is effective internal policing, this problem threatens to go completely out of hand,” he added.
Asked if he would suggest to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to set up such a body, he said anything done by the government in this regard may be seen as impinging on freedom of press.
“This has to come from within the media – electronic, social and the print media,” he added.