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‘Progressive forces should work for media reform’

A Correspondent
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in defence of the media:Asian College of Journalism chairman Sasikumar inaugurating the media seminar held in Kannur on Friday as part of the national conference of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions.— PHOTO: S.K. Mohan
in defence of the media:Asian College of Journalism chairman Sasikumar inaugurating the media seminar held in Kannur on Friday as part of the national conference of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions.— PHOTO: S.K. Mohan

Media person Sasikumar, has urged progressive forces and intellectuals to strive for a media reform movement.

Inaugurating a seminar on ‘Problems raised by corporatisation of media’ conducted as part of the 14th national conference of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), being held here, Mr. Sasikumar said people had given a moral high ground to the media but it had betrayed this trust of the people. It was worse than the ‘bourgeois media’ as coined by Engels, Mr. Sasikumar said.

Reproaching the media barons for calling the Majithia wage board, which proposes a decent wage structure, as a threat to freedom of press, Mr. Sasikumar said this was openly trampling upon the freedom of working journalists.

Media ruled by corporates had set the agenda and the result is visible in various media acts such as where two personalities are positioned for the prime ministerial posts by the newspapers and channels. The industrial development model in Gujarat as showcased by the media is a false and ridiculous model and was no model at all in terms of equitable growth and development, he said.

It was a ‘feel good press’ which thrived in the country, pushing aside the many rural problems the country continues to confront. While in other countries, newspapers were a sunset industry and television was ‘plateauing’, India is an oasis for media, marking tremendous growth. It is financially laughing its way to the bank, while ethically and socially, it is wading through a crisis. The regional media was better off than the English media here. The growth of media here is at the cost of journalism, Mr. Sasikumar said.

If Engels called it bourgeois media, the truth is media has proceeded beyond this and has turned out to be monopoly media where profiteering is their sole aim. When compared to the corporate media, bourgeois media seems to be innocent, he said.

James Mathew, MLA, presided over the seminar. P. Rajiv, MP, and Venkatesh Ramakrishnan, deputy editor, Frontline spoke.

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