Chennai: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said the central government is working on a National Communication Policy.

Stressing the need for self-regulation for the media and also reasonable restrictions to maintain public order and ensure integrity and sovereignty of the nation, Naidu said the compulsion of instant communication should not lead the media astray from truthful reporting.

Naidu, who is also the Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, was speaking at the Regional Editors Conference here organised by the Press Information Bureau.

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He said the government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has placed communication as a critical factor of governance.

According to Naidu, there is a need to ensure balance between freedom of expression and the genuine need for reasonable restrictions to ensure that that there is no ‘divisive communication’ given the social, cultural and economic diversity in the country.

Naidu said that despite the emergence of new forms of media, print media has been reporting steady growth which is being driven by the growth of regional media.

He also noted that regional media is uniquely placed in connecting the government and the people given their focus on regional and local issues and their proximity to the people.

Expressing concern over politicisation of public discourse on issues that have a bearing on social cohesion and national unity and integrity Naidu said: “Human rights are meant for human beings and not for terrorists. One should not identify those imprisoned by their caste or religion.”