"Distortions have crept into media which is facing a crisis of credibility. The initiative to stem this rot and restore the credibility must come from media itself," Dhumal said, speaking at the valedictory function of National Governing Board and National Seminar on Building a Socially Responsible Media by Indian Media Centre (IMC).
He said said media can be socially responsible only by rendering humanitarian services.
"In the competitive era of information technology and globalisation, humanitarian service to society with positivity, right approach and factual reporting alone can make media socially responsible," Dhumal stressed.
"In our democratic polity, media has responsibility towards the society and whether it is print media or electronic, it has to be accountable to the people and protect the interests of the poor," he said.
The professional integrity and ethical standards must not be sacrificed for any considerations, and freedom of press granted in the Constitution should be used for the people who are the real power in any democratic system, Dhumal stressed.
In his presidential address, MP and IMC chairman Chandan Mitra cautioned against the misuse of the media by government to push through its "reforms agenda" and the big business houses to influence the consumption pattern of people for marketing their products.
He said that there is a need to find viable solution to the problems of mediapersons and stressed the need for quality reporting, training of media persons and avoidance of negative reporting.