Fifteen years back, there was only Doordarshan that kept people updated on the latest news, but it was seen more as a government mouthpiece. The concept of 24x7 news on television came with the launch of private news channels. However, the society today is raising questions about the credibility of media and its media in today’s society. Often media ends up becoming everyone’s favourite whipping boy.
According to Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, CNN IBN, IBN7 & IBN Lokmat, “Nowadays it has become a fashion to target the media and rather television media; we are like double-edged sword – sometimes useful and sometimes not.”
He further said that in the last 20 years, a revolution has arrived in the country and that led to the launch of 375 news channels broadcasting news 24x7. “It has become an animal which is always hungry. The question arises what to give him to eat. There is no doubt quantity has increased, but unfortunately quality has gone down,” he lamented.
Talking about people’s perception about the media, Sardesai said, “Earlier, people use to think media will change the society, but it has now become a source of infotainment and some dramatic content. The big question is what are our priorities? Have we made media as an infotainment source? I’ll not say we are doing social service, we are also doing business to some extent.”
“We all have become captive and got trapped in the prime time format and the only way to come out of this is to become constructive. We want to bring change, media has ample power to do that, but people are losing their trust in media. People fear us, but do not respect us anymore,” Sardesai maintained.
He further stressed that TRPs should not be television ratings points but “television respect points” and that a new format is required to change all this.
He affirmed that the role of the media should be to ensure India is a better country and we live in a better India in future.
Rajdeep Sardesai was sharing his views at the Leadership Summit, organised by Prabhat Khabar in Delhi on December 22, 2012.