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Work in public interest, media told

Special Correspondent

Newspapers should come out with their own code: CMS chief


Civil society groups must give feedback

Academic bodies urged to play a bigger role


VISAKHAPATNAM: The Centre for Media Studies (CMS)-New Delhi has called for efforts to bring in a paradigm shift in the Indian news media from what interests the people to what is in the interests of the latter.

Addressing a seminar on ‘The Indian News Media Scene’, organized by CMS in collaboration with Andhra University Department of Journalism and Mass Communication on Monday, CMS chairman N. Bhaskara Rao noted that growth in media in the country was high at about 25 per cent or more and India was a laboratory of the world in terms of news media.

It was cable television that triggered media growth a few years back.

However, the reach and range of media had not reached expected levels because the competition was for the same.

It had not yet trickled to those who were in the backward areas and the growth rate was not commensurate with the number of newspapers.

Market-driven

He also observed that TV was relied far more now for news. Unfortunately, what was happening in the media here was they worked for advertisers.

“It is what interests advertisers and not what interests the public that is carried. The content is more market-driven and no longer journalist-centred,” he stated.

Mr. Bhaskara Rao felt that creating a post of Reader’s Editor as The Hindu daily newspaper had done and the media coming out with its own code or guidelines would help to some extent.

The Government also could not abdicate its responsibility of the possible implications or impact of the content.

The civil society groups should say what was good and bad through proper feedback. Professional bodies should look after not only salaries but ethics.

He also noted that the academic bodies in India had utterly failed as they had not taken interest in what was happening and urged them to play a bigger role.

There was also need for independent research as the impact of TV was much more than the print media though the latter was not affected by the electronic media a bit, he said.

Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication P. Bobby Vardhan observed that there was mushrooming of TV channels and the actual news content provided by the 24-hour news channels was a mere four hours or less.

He and other participants underscored the need to improve quality in presentation of news, views and entertainment and other programmes.

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