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Focus on people-centric issues, newspapers told

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Focus on responsibility: Nandini Sahai, MICCI Director, delivering the keynote address at the national seminar on the role of the media in Hassan on Saturday.
Focus on responsibility: Nandini Sahai, MICCI Director, delivering the keynote address at the national seminar on the role of the media in Hassan on Saturday.

Staff Correspondent

‘There must be some element of social responsibility’

‘Most newspapers do not focus on development’

Media held responsible for dividing society

HASSAN: Nandini Sahai, Director of the Media Information and Communication Centre of India (MICCI), has said that development should ensure human dignity, justice and equality of opportunity.

Delivering the keynote address at a national conference on “Challenges before the media and the development of journalism” as well as “Women and children — role of the media”, here on Saturday, she regretted that most newspapers in the country did not concentrate on development but highlighted only massacres, deaths and floods.

Dividing role

The media was responsible for dividing the country on the lines of the rich and poor, and rural and urban, she said. It ought to show some element of social responsibility and focus more on people-centric reportage.

Ms. Sahai told young journalists and students who had come from all over the State to be totally committed to their cause and write what they believed in.

She said that according to the 2001 Census, the number of women in the country was decreasing. With the exception of Kerala, every State had a low sex ratio. Only 58 per cent of women in the country were literate, while for men the literacy rate was 76 per cent.

She said according to the latest world population monitor, the maternal mortality ratio stood at 570 for 1,00,000 live births. Seventy per cent of these women died owing to avoidable reasons. Women were underrepresented in governance and decision-making. Most of them did not have the right to make decisions in their personal lives. In Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, less than 50 per cent of women had access to money in the household.

Ms. Sahai said that according to police records, a woman is molested every 26 minutes, a rape occurs every 34 minutes, sexual harassment takes place every 42 minutes, a woman is kidnapped every 43 minutes, while a woman is killed every 93 minutes in the country.

She regretted that of late the media had been losing its credibility.

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