Wednesday February 14 2007
MADURAI: Indian media today is city-centric and urban-oriented to such an extent that it is divorced from the reality of life, said Sashi Kumar, chairman of Media Development Foundation and former chairman of Asianet. Speaking at a seminar on ‘Media and Ethics,’ organised by the English Department of American College, here on Tuesday, he said pluralism of the country was not captured by the media, even by the regional ones.
“Rural India is the real India. But for the media, India in the cities is the real India. Even the regional media has begun to imitate their English counterparts in this regard,” he said.
“If the media continues to distance from the public, a time will come when media can not claim moral high ground. In fact, it is the greatest challenge of media of our time,” Kumar added.
Terming media as the “central plank of information age,” Kumar emphasised the need for the media to be accountable to itself and public by delivering to the expectation of the people.
However, he noted that the media was often setting its own agenda by not describing the world as it is with self-tailored norms.
He also pointed out the uniformity in the news content in every strands of media. “From the order of the headlines to the entire setting of stories, media follows the same script,” he added, while attributing it to pressure of competition.
The tendency of transforming ordinary into extraordinary, thus creating a problem in news worthiness, was also the result of similar pressure, he noted.
‘Kaya Taran’, a film by Sashi Kumar, was also screened as part of the seminar. College principal Joseph Chinnaraj Jaikumar, faculty and students of the college among others attended.