Tag Archives: media’s role

Indian Media Industry: Challenges

The recent face-off between Congress MP and business man Naveen Jindal and Zee News is more like the pot saying go away to the kettle. In India, hush-hush and nod-nod are the ways of doing business with corruption endemic to the system. Sadly, journalism succumbed to the lures way too early.
The Indian media industry is forecast to achieve a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 85% in 2011-2012, and the growth would largely be driven by print media. Though, the challenges facing the Indian print media industry are quite diverse from their global counterparts. The world media houses are currently grappling with issues of digitization, economy, cost, etc., on the other hand Indian media houses are busy minting money through deals with stakeholders. The news here is owned by politicians and paid for by those who can afford and gain from it. Newspapers today are more about affiliations than about journalism.
A hundred crore seems a small amount to pay for saving a murky bit of information. Today, corruption is as intrinsic to the media industry as it is to politics of India.
The likes of Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai are not crusaders taking on key issues, they are some celebrities themselves taking interviews of celebrities against lavish backgrounds of five star hotels or inviting stakeholders to debate their own issues in the studios duly served with snacks. Young India, flushed with resources finds journalism a cool career opportunity. Needless to say, journalism schools are mushrooming by dime a dozen to teach them how to read and create news. These celebrity journalists are a mere shadow of their counterparts from freedom struggle who were jailed for writing a piece of news. Can these studio-bred journalists be role models enough to guide the strength and purity of gigantic democracy like India?
In this digital fast-paced scenario, as the industry is moving towards increased investments to cope the pressures of digitization, the key challenge for India remains the crusade against issues.

The Role of Media vis-a-vis the Commonwealth Games

The world witnessed an incredible India with the XIX Commonwealth Games—a country of incredible extremes.  The country that has charmed the world with its rich cultural and heritage treasures stunned the world by goofing up the preparations for the XIX Commonwealth Games currently being hosted in Delhi. It is a huge honor and privilege to be able to win the bid for the hosting of this game but a lot of things went wrong down the seven years given for preparation. Media all over the world went berserk with criticism and slur. Indian media too was not far behind. This is what brings us to the strangeness of the situation, the position of media and its role in perspective of our Commonwealth Games.
Indian media surfaced with its stories of horrid corruption and lousy preparation just a couple of months to the Games. The point here is what were they following since the day Delhi was awarded the Games’ hosting?  Today we have more than a dozen channels fore bearing the news front but sadly they seem to follow the wrong news more often. It’s not the authorities that have woken up late for the preparation but the media itself was sleeping over it. Neither did the media pose questions to the newly formed government over the Commonwealth Games when they came into power, nor did it book Delhi Prime Minister Sheila Dikshit, OC Chairman Suresh Kalmadi or Sports Minister MS Gill well in time. True, the perpetrators were busy hauling gold rather than creating infrastructure but media is equally to be blamed for missing it altogether until India as a country was neck deep in trouble. What came out as flashing news and to the dismay and heartbreak of Indians just a couple of months before the Games did help  to salvage the situation but that was about it—it did nothing better than “salvaging”. Had the seven years gone into the preparation within the hawk eye of media of course, India would have prevented the muck that was thrown into its face  internationally.
Media indeed played the big daddy through out the Commonwealth controversy bullying the authorities for their shortfalls and corruption, but somewhere they went too far with it. With just a week left to the Commonwealth Games, media was all over the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium pulling out pictures of live reptiles habituating the host stadium. It went overboard with these stories and forgot its responsibility as an Indian media. What was needed at this hour was stories that encouraged the world of Indian capabilities rather of its eminent struggle to pull up an act.  The over proportionate stories of Indian handicap resulted in leading athletes of the world pulling out of the Games sighting security as concern. Countries like Australia threatened to boycott the Games completely. Unfortunately Indian media never realized that responsible reporting is the hour of the need rather bullying and bashing their own country’s pride.
Today, as we are past through a “spectacular” opening ceremony and into the second week of the Games with more than forty medals in Indian kitty including twenty four gold and several silver, media is yet again going overboard with the way we as an India have managed to place ourselves back into the good books of the sporting arena. I believe, caution should be the need of the hour, and reporting keeping in mind the fact that any bridge, any  pedestal can collapse anytime, coz at the end of the day XIX Commonwealth Games is a pulled up act rather a well planned event. Sigh!