Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni was quite upbeat about the Indian media industry at her special address to the distinguished gathering at the fifth Indian Magazine Congress, being held in Delhi on November 5-6, 2009. She went as far as to state that the growth of the Indian media and entertainment industry had surpassed that of the Indian economy’s growth.
The Indian Magazine Congress is an initiative of the Association of Indian Magazine. Worldwide Media is the presenting sponsor, while Chitralekha and Cannon are the associate sponsors. exchange4media Group (exchange4media.com, impact and Pitch) is the media partner.
Speaking at the Congress, Soni admitted, “A disproportionate amount time has been spent on broadcasting issues, but we must not discount the importance of the print media. While newspapers are perishable commodities, magazines provide detailed analysis and indepth coverage of various issues, they are the best way to pass one’s time.”
She added that despite the growth of the broadcast and the economic slowdown, magazines had been thriving. “This is a dynamic phase of growth in the readership base in India. The country is the second largest market for the print industry. What is further going to boost magazine growth in India is improving literacy.”
“We in the Government need to be more proactive and move faster to keep pace with the rapid growth and not let the magazine sector suffer,” she said adding, “Consensus needs to be developed. Anything that is debated extensively impacts popular public opinion, which in turn also influences the Government’s decision.”
In order to address the industry’s various concerns, Soni suggested appointing 3-4 representatives of the magazine industry to interact with the Government and thrash out workable solutions.
The Minister also spoke about the dearth of enough journalistic talent in the country and added that the I&B Ministry had decided to set up more mass communication institutes to address the industry’s talent requirements.
Soni then spoke about the various Acts and amendments carried out by the Indian Government for the print industry, with specific mention of the PRB Act.