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Arun Jaitley criticises news channels' race for eyeballs, compromise in content and shrillness of debates

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Arun Jaitley criticises news channels' race for eyeballs, compromise in content and shrillness of debates

Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting, Arun Jaitley has said that a structured training programme was important to address the needs of the fast evolving and expanding media landscape in the country. Skill Development was an important step to equip the challenges faced by journalists in responding to the requirements of varied target audience/viewers.

Jaitley stated this while delivering the Keynote Address at the Inaugural Session at the seminar on “Establishment of Communication University” organized by the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, under the aegis of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said today the definition of news had undergone a change, with the media playing a pro-active role, setting the agenda for what constituted news. The influence of camera was evident in the prioritization of news across platforms. The impact of technology on news dissemination was evident in view of instant and faster communication. Touching upon issues related to financial modeling, the Minister said that the absence of a viable financial model at times created discrepancies leading to higher cost of distribution, race for eye balls and quality of content being compromised. The Minister further added that the emerging scenario led to debates becoming shriller. However, enough scope existed for the reader / viewer to get authentic information and news based on facts. There was enough opportunity for conventional news to emerge stronger and counter news that was at times one sided. In the given scenario, the consumer was king as he had the power to dissect the news which was closest to reality.

Secretary of I&B Bimal Julka said that an approach to establishing a Communication University for India would have to be evolved after taking into consideration the best international models available vis-a-vis Indian Media and Entertainment sector. He further added that the seminar would involve consultations with various stakeholders for their views on possibility of establishing such an over-arching Communication University in the country. In this fast emerging media scenario, there was an urgent need to have a close look at how the current generations would be equipped to meet the complex challenges in view of the increasing need and demand for professionals in the media industry. Julka in his address also gave an overview of the media industry touching upon the convergence scenario in the media space, the paradigm shifts in relation to the social media and the innovations brought about vis-à-vis tools and dissemination process. This was critical in view of audiences becoming fragmented across regions and the growing range of delivery platforms.

Justice Mukul Mudgal, Chairman Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) who was also present on the occasion said that the seminar would lead to deliberations to decide the feasibility of setting up a Communication University in India.

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