News television channels should air both versions of a news story and leave to viewers the right to evaluate each news item, defence minister AK Antony said on Saturday.
"The viewers should have the right to judge which is black and which is white. While reporting news, be it on a social, political or cultural event, channels should give both versions of a story," Antony said after inaugurating the new office and studio complex of the 'Asianet' TV channel in Thiruvananthapuram.
He said that in an era of competition, it was difficult for channels to be straight while reporting news. However, each channel should try its best to gain credibility while improving ratings as part of their profession.
Antony commended 'Asianet' channel for bringing a single platform to Malayalees who were scattered across the globe, something he said non-resident Malayalee organisations in different countries could not achieve all these years.
He said that many more applications for starting new channels in Malayalam were pending before the Union I&B and home ministries for clearance and the existing channels should be prepared for tough competition.
'Asianet', the first private TV channel in Malayalam, could always retain the top spot despite stiff competition, the Union minister said.
Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy, opposition leader VS Achuthanandan, Jnanpith laureates MT Vasudevan Nair and ONV Kurup and leaders of various political parties attended the function.