Senior journalist C.G. Manjula has said that barring a section of the media, majority of the media houses were caught in the clutches of corporate sector and forgotten that their role was that of a strong opposition in a democracy.
She was delivering a talk at the Media Day celebration and presentation of annual journalism awards instituted by Dharwad District Union of Working Journalists (DDUWJ) at Biotech Auditorium of BVB College of Engineering and Technology in Hubballi on Sunday.
Ms. Manjula said, “Although the country boasts of 1.2 lakh news papers, 550 FM radio channels, 350 news channels, the voice of the pluralism is lost. That is because they are being controlled by industrialists and political forces. If the same trend continues, then a vibrant democracy will not survive.”
Pointing out the fading away of investigative journalism, Ms. Manjula said that there is need for the media houses to introspect and to understand that the freedom of press given to them is not for their individual voice but for collective voice of the people. She also referred to examples of senior journalists who lost their jobs for being critical of the ruling disposition.
Referring to the rapid changes in the media and the advent of digital media, she said journalists should adapt themselves to the changes, which however, did not mean that they should give away their individuality or stop working for the people.
She pointed out that like in politics, in field of media too, barring few exceptions, the representation for women was less and the prejudices against women within the media houses still exist.
MLC and Former Chairman of Karnataka Legislative Council Basavaraj Horatti recalled that during his early days as a politician, he received guidance from senior journalists. However, now owing to various developments, the media too is losing the values its stood for.
Hubballi Dharwad Mayor Iresh Anchatageri said that despite technical advances, print media has still retained the interest of the readers, which revealed the significance of it.
On the occasion, veteran journalist Bhimasen M. Padaki was honoured with ‘DDUWJ Life Time Achievement Award’ and Nivedita Nagarajrao with ‘Avva Award’.
Winners of various annual awards S.N. Govardhan, Guru Bhadage, Basavaraj Idli, Shivaji Laturkar, P. Shekhar, Vinayak Naik, A.R. Anand, Pundalik Mudhol, Prakash Hugar, Yallappa Solaragoppa, Dattatreya Patil, Basavaraj Vagarnal, Vinayak Deshpande and Shahin Mokashi were honoured with mementoes and cash prizes.
Senior journalist R.P. Jagadish also spoke at the event. Vice President of KUWJ Pundalik Baloji, Member of State Executive Committee of KUWJ Ganapati Gangolli, President of DDUWJ Lochanesh Hugar, General Secretary Sushilendra Kundaragi, bureau chiefs of various news papers of Hubballi, senior journalists and others were present.