The future is not gloomy: Shantanu Bhanja
Plurality of news has to be maintained, says Shantanu Bhanja, CMO, HT Media, while self-regulation can ensure that people are not misled
Readers’ habits have changed over the years. People today do not consume media the way they did 30 years ago; news is consumed at different points of time, in different ways, in different places and from different sources.
News consumption, therefore, has changed from print to TV and online. In creating and nurturing content, media houses will need to reach out to their readers across all platforms, hence, it’s obvious that media houses will be moving on from print to other platforms of breaking their news to audiences, remarked Shantanu Bhanja, CMO, HT Media. He calls it a “natural progression of news” – how media consumption will lead to media being served by the same people who are collecting news and then providing it to the people.
Acknowledging that his group, HT Media, has both English and Hindi publications, Bhanja pointed out that there are a lot of households who get both language papers, where elder members read the Hindi news while the younger lot read English. “Therefore, it’s often that the same news is being published for different readers and different segments. To that extent I do not see this to be all bad, it’s a natural evolution of media,” he said.
He further said that plurality of news has to be maintained and added that self-regulation can ensure that large sections of the people are not misled.
For this, technology will lead the way. With more and more people getting on to the social networking platform there is availability of multiple news channels today. It is no longer under the purview of a few big media corporations or some media barons who will control one set of news. “With the increase of large and cheaper media availability, one can look forward to a time where people will have access to a free media from a large number of sources, and a plurality of opinions too,” Bhanja noted.
“I feel confident that the future is not gloomy. It’s likely to become better, and better,” he affirmed.
Shantanu Bhanja was speaking at a conference organised by ASSOCHAM on Cross Media Ownership. The conference was held in New Delhi on July 27, 2012.
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