'As an industry, we need to re-evaluate what our principles are'
At the e4m NewsNext conference, the panelists had an insightful discussion on ‘Addressing the crisis in today’s journalism’
The first session of the e4m NewsNext conference observed panelists from the media industry who had an insightful discussion on the topic ‘Addressing The Crisis In Today’s Journalism’. The panelists comprised Rishabh Gulati, Managing Director, NewsX; Alok Mehta, Veteran Journalist and Padma Shri awardee; Chintamani Rao, Strategic Marketing and Media Consultant; and Dr Bhuvan Lall, Author and Filmmaker. The session was moderated by Tarun Nangia, Associate Editor, Special Projects, NewsX.
Kickstarting the session, the panelists highlighted the crisis the media industry has been facing from years. Rao said, “I think all of us know how news media works in India. It is all advertiser dependent and therefore, caters to the lowest common denominator. The more eyeballs you get, the more money you hope you will make and that has been the game for a number of years now. That is the downward spiral we are seeing through the years. However, we all know that content is the king. If you have the content, you can make money through it.”
Adding to Rao, Gulati said, “I completely sympathise with the dynamic that they have been trapped in. Perhaps, just like the industry is facing the crisis which is smartly internally and partly externally driven, we can remediate it. The gravitas of why you are watching news has obviously diminished. News channels, journalists, TV anchors are now a parody. If you look at the popular culture, we are now a joke. There is a problem in attracting talent because the gravitas has been affected.”
Mehta explained, “At present, because of the presence of social media, digital media and television expansion, one mistake can create havoc. It looks like we all are getting money for this which is a tragedy.”
Lall elucidated, “Today, we are only trying to become no. 1. Being No. 1 means becoming the most-watched channel. Does it mean you are being truthful? Does it mean that people will shut down everything at 9 pm to watch you? It means that there is a TRP system that is flawed and that decides the future of every content creator in the news media room across the country. So, as an industry, we need to re-evaluate what our principles are.”
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