There is no sphere as dynamic as the media/ brand/ advertising space as anyone who works in the industry will, no doubt, agree. While you focus on some piece of information that you come to hear of, you might have missed 10 others (which the competition laps up with glee!).
But are we, the news media, focussing on the areas that need to be brought into focus? Are we talking about topics that get the industry talking or just get them to spend their usual two minutes or less on every story? These were some of the questions that cropped up during discussions with agency heads.
What seemed to emerge from the talks brought forth answers that were both important and critical – that the news media should act more as an instrument that predicts and ushers in the next revolution in the industry rather than watching from the sidelines as a mere observer. While we have been dutifully covering the industry and its various meanderings, we have forgotten to also play the role of a facilitator of discussion and debate that will turn the cogs of the industry faster.
While the primary role of a reporter is to ‘report’, he has become so neutral at times in his attempt to be the ‘lens’ that he forgets that he has the power to ‘shoot’ – not off his mouth, but as an intelligent commentator, which comes with interaction, extensive reading, and experience.
Two thoughts in this regard – one, that every new batch of journalists should be extensively trained to actually understand in-depth the fields they work in rather than treat every story as separate slice; two, that there need to be more forums that allow the industry to have meaningful discussions on current scenarios and how the whole space can move collectively towards being more professional, more up-to-date, more insightful, and more clued-in to the workings and trends in the global market.
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