Former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu sees growth potential in digital journalism

Former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu N. Ram has said the attitude of denial to the changing face of journalism will be disastrous to reporters, particularly those belonging to the print media.

Speaking before launching 10TV, a 24-hour Telugu news channel here on Saturday, he said though the print and television media in the country were in growth mode, there was a slowdown in the recent years for obvious reasons — the entry of digital media.

Old news media such as radio and newspapers were on the decline as fewer and fewer people were reading newspapers and listening to radio. At the same time, more and more people were accessing news from digital/Internet media though there was no established business model for the digital content.

He told journalists to embrace digital/Internet journalism as the technologies were unveiling and the emerging media could bring good revenues, growth and audience/readers. Developed countries were desperate for digital news business already, but it might take a few more years for countries like India to reach that stage. Digital journalism would provide good dividends for the future, he noted.

Stating that editorialising news was the major problem in Indian journalism today, Mr. Ram suggested restraint on allowing prejudice and subjective angles into news. At the same time, mere presentation of news itself was not enough, but analysis and comment should also be provided to readers/viewers separately, offering space for debate.

Mr. Ram advocated news channels and newspapers to serve as the agent for public education and awareness and cautioned them not to undermine the knowledge of viewers/readers ever. He was very critical of some news anchors who, he said, would appear extremely arrogant, rude, talk with contempt and end up as actors on the screen. The disease must be combated, he said.

Among others who spoke were 10TV chairman K. Nageshwar, political leaders T. Devender Goud (TDP), T. Harish Rao (TRS), B.V. Raghavulu (CPI-M), Jayaprakash Narayan (LSP), G. Mallesh (CPI) and B. Shobha Nagi Reddy (YSRC).

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