At the recently held enba 2016 Awards that celebrated the success of television news professionals across 31 different categories, Kalli Purie, Group Editorial Director, Broadcast and New Media, India Today Group, spoke about the challenges facing contemporary news journalism and how technology is shaping a new era of journalism.
Land of free press
Calling India as the land of free press, Purie said, “We live in India where the freedom of press is still a right. Recently the Trump administration banned some of the most iconic media brands of the world - CNN, NYT and BBC; they were all deemed fake news and were banned from his press briefings. This is very disturbing and this would not happen in India. I would request the Hon’ble Minister of Information & Broadcasting to make India a leader of the free press. Let Trump be the leader of the free world but let India be the land of free press.”
Terming the news fraternity as a real family that stands together in the wake of big challenges, Purie added, “I would like to congratulate the news fraternity for putting all the differences behind when a big challenge faces the industry. We all do come together and support each other like a real family should. This is very important as this is the reason that we are the shining example of free press.”
Competing for TRPs
Countering the allegations often levelled against prominent media houses, Purie refused to toe the apologetic line. Elaborating her views on it, she said, “I find the attacks on media very odd. The common allegation is—you ‘newswallas’ are always looking for a headline, always looking for a story, but that is our job. News is on no one’s side, it is what it is. I pointedly refuse to be apologetic of what we do. I’m proud of what we do. Yes we are here for the headlines, it’s our job; yes we compete for TRPs because we don’t want to live on doles. Without financial independence we cannot stand up to the powers that be and ask them inconvenient questions. Yes, we show uncomfortable truth and it is our job to focus on the darkest areas. It often means doing things as a media group that will cost us or hurt us but we need to do it in the interest of the nation and the viewers.”
“Unlike other businesses which are judged by their bottom-line alone, we have a duty, we are an essential pillar to this messy but working democracy. In my view, the media houses that walk this tight rope daily and have their principles of fairness challenged daily and survive are the ones that are going to make it in the long run. Not the ones with the maximum TRPs. This is not easy, because this tightrope is constantly being moved and changed and our reality is always being altered,” added Purie.
Terming the power of technology as a disruptive force that is rewriting the rules of the news broadcast game, Purie said, “Unless we sort out the big issues of distribution revenue, content may be king but distribution is queen, and you know who’s going to win that argument. But there is a power greater than the kings and queens; it is technology - the dazzling and demanding princess who has changed all the rules of our game. And the minute we get how to play the new game she changes them again. Not bigger screens but smaller, not primetime, my time, not one linear newsroom, but a collaborative newsroom where anyone with a connection has a voice.”
enba Awards 2016 was powered by Zee Rajasthan News.