Press Club of India has initiated a series of debates & discussions on media, beginning with an interactive session on the theme of ' Is Media at Crossroads In Terms Of Professionalism & Ethics.'
Two veteran journalists - BG Verghese, Former Editor of Hindustan Times & Om Thanvi, Editor of Jansatta were the speakers at the first interactive session. Initiating the discussion, Verghese said that media has seen tremendous expansion in terms of reach & power and this immense transformation, due to technological advancement, has implications for the government and society besides putting big responsibility on media itself.
He lamented that media which is a trustee of public trust, is today not getting the sense of it as journalism no more remains a mission. Referring to the menace of paid news, Verghese said that it was sad that today editors have been overshadowed by marketing heads in media organisations and there is willful use of power of media for money making.
Talking about the freedom of speech, he said that there is no absolute freedom and speech has responsible restrictions. Dwelling further on the subject, he said considering that broadcasting in India was least regulated, mere self regulation was a dangerous thing. He stressed on the need for regulating media and called for a unified code for government and private media.
Om Thanvi observed that the erosion of values in media were responsible for this disturbing trend of paid news. He lamented that today media is not giving enough space to social issues as reader is being treated as a consumer and journalistic ethics have suffered a casualty.
He, however, blamed editors for their present plight, adding that they themselves are not concerned about their declining status because of their vested interests. He also favoured a regulation for media.
T R Ramachandran, President, Press Club of India also mentioned that such interactive sessions on media will be organised regularly.
The upcoming interaction with the representatives of International Press Institute (IPI), Vienna, is scheduled for March 1.Alison Bethel Mckenzie, Executive Director, IPI, Barbara Trionfi, Senior Press Freedom Advisor and N Ravi, Chairman, IPI, India Chapter will be the main speakers during this interaction on the theme of ‘Press Freedom - New Media, New Democracies.’