Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday censorship is no answer to irresponsible journalism and favoured self regulation by media.
"As a country, we believe in complete independence of the media from external control," Singh said in a message on National Press Day today.
"It is true that sometimes irresponsible journalism can have serious consequences for social harmony and public order, which the public authorities have an obligation to maintain, but censorship is no answer," Singh said.
Noting that free and fair media has been an essential pillar of democracy, he said since the days of India's struggle for freedom media has been guiding social change, informing readers of their rights and contributing to the nation-building process by spreading awareness.
"It is for the members of the Fourth Estate themselves to collectively ensure that objectivity is promoted and sensationalism is curbed. It is for them to introspect how best they can serve our country and society and advance their well being," Singh said.
National Press Day is observed every year on November 16, the day when the Press Council of India started functioning as a moral watchdog of the media in 1956.