“Commercialisation is taking toll on content”

Uday Kumar Verma, Secretary, Information & Broadcasting Ministry feels that news b’casting is facing content credibility challenges

by Noor Fathima Warsia
Published - Sep 3, 2012 7:45 PM Updated: Sep 3, 2012 7:45 PM
“Commercialisation is taking toll on content”

The exchange4media News Broadcasting Awards, ENBA, continues to play a key role in serving as a platform that celebrates news broadcasting and the crucial role it plays in India. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Secretary Uday Kumar Verma agreed with this, in his address at ENBA and said that while media per se has grown at a breathtaking pace in India, news media has delivered what was expected of it and more. Nonetheless, there are grave challenges facing the domain that must be appreciated and responded to for further growth of this domain.

Verma said, “ENBA, which is the recognition of talent, perseverance and hard work of the news broadcasting industry, is also a good time to put on record the expansion of this industry that is a tribute to its achievement. This is a moment of celebration of enterprise and genius, and acknowledging that growth in news media has served us well in the course of dissemination of knowledge and awareness. But there are challenges ahead.”

The two key points that Verma raised on the challenges facing the news broadcasting industry in India were pertaining to the commercialisation of the business, as he put it, the extreme competition and the effect that these factors had on content and its credibility.

Quoting from ‘Glory & Blemishes of the Indian News Media’ Verma said that India’s free media and unfettered press is an asset to democratic India but its celebration was only so far and no further. “The setbacks seen are in the form of laxity in accuracy and bias implicit in news covered and what is left out,” said Verma, adding, “I believe this is the platform where we can understand the merit of the appreciation that this comment deserves. It is time for introspection and self appreciation because denial of any pain is hardly the way to cure it.”

Verma believes that it is time for the industry to collectively take stock of these challenges that he believes are taking a toll on content and its credibility. He said, “There is a need to discuss and deliberate on these things to ensure that content is unbiased and fairly presented because there is nothing more important than credibility of news media.”

Verma was addressing doyens and future leaders of the Indian news broadcasting industry at exchange4media News Broadcasting Awards held on August 31, 2012 in Delhi.

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