Media Manthan churned up several issues and debates in the media industry and was attended by quite a few journalists. The event was organised in Jalandhar on June 25, 2010 by samachar4media, the Hindi website from the exchange4media Group, in association with Healthyway Immigration Consultants.
The topic of discussion was ‘Media Expansion: Challenges and Opportunities’. Among the participants were Rahul Dev, Editor-in-Chief and CEO, CNEB; Vinod Kapri, Managing Editor, India TV; Ved Pratap Vaidik, a seasoned journalist; and Sudhir Chaudhary, Editor & CEO, Live India & Mi Marathi. PK Khurana, Consulting Editor, samachar4media, was the moderator of the session.
Rahul Dev observed, “Media is like a double-edged sword, how we use it is up to us.” He further said, “Media in India is expanding by leaps and bounds, and so many new channels and newspapers are coming up. However, 40 per cent people in India are not covered by print, while television can’t reach 25 per cent of the population. So, there is a huge gap and the biggest challenge is to reach the population that doesn’t have access to TV or newspapers.”
Adding to this, Ved Pratap Vaidik said, “Media has been expanding rapidly and in the last five years it has doubled, especially TV channels, and today we have over 450 channels. The biggest challenge is to avoid selling advertising under the garb of paid news. Also, journalists are as responsible and accountable to people as the Parliament. Media has its own positive and negative points, a single channel can bring about a revolution.”
Taking the discussion further, Vinod Kapri said, “Media is not only expanding, but is also influencing more people each passing day.” Citing the example of the Bhopal gas tragedy, he said, “In 17 years of my career, this issue hasn’t been raised like it is being brought up now. A lot of topics were buried, which have been brought to public light, for instance, the Ruchika’s case was reopened.”
Sudhir Chaudhary noted, “Media has been expanding rapidly and today there are 130 million TV homes and 83 million cable and satellite homes. Today, terms like TRP, GRP, total time spent, and market share have entered newsrooms and amid all this, the credibility of news is very important.”
“What we lack today is trained manpower, once we get that, we can compete with the world class channels,” he asserted.