Regretting over-commercialisation of the media, President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday urged the fourth estate not to compromise with basic journalistic principles work with "honesty, objectivity and conviction" to promote national goal and build public opinion.
"The need of the hour for the media is to uphold its core values of honesty, subjectivity and loyalty," she said at a function in Mumbai.
"It is not correct to think that just because you (media) have the freedom, you can be irresponsible," she added.
The President said commercialisation of the media, which led to TRP ratings and 'breaking news' being given prominence over facts, was a cause of concern.
"The media can play an important role in building national consensus and protecting the democratic institutions," she said, adding that apart from a national agenda, the media should also have a social agenda.
Patil said media should also focus on issues like female foeticide, dowry, child marriage and alcoholism which if cured could go a long way in eradicating poverty.
"This century is being billed as an Asian century and all efforts are required to ensure that India is a leading player. There may be differences and challenges but we should not let these affect the stability and democratic structure of our country," she added.
Patil was here to present the Lokmat Maharashtrian of the Year award to people from different walks of life. She also felicitated legendary actors Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan.
The Lokmat Maharashtrian of the Year awards were give to Paromita Goswami (social and public service), Raju Shetty (politics), Himmatrao Bavaskar (science and technology), Hanumant Gaikwad (business), Bandopant Khedkar (art), Kishore Kadam (literature), Virdhawal Khade (sports), Sheikh Naseer Sheikh Niyaz (entertainment).
Dilip Kumar was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award, while Bachchan was felicitated with a special award.
On the occasion, Bachchan said he had spent 42 years of his life in Mumbai and owed his achievements to the city and Maharashtra. "I have always considered myself a Maharashtrian. I am learning to speak Marathi," he said.