Media channels will lose credibility over guests who shout, polarise and spread false narratives: I&B Minister

Anurag Thakur calls for mainstream media channels to preserve professionalism

September 20, 2022 03:34 am | Updated 10:09 am IST - New Delhi

Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports and Information & Broadcasting Anurag Thakur. File

Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports and Information & Broadcasting Anurag Thakur. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday said the credibility of the mainstream media channels, which invited guests indulging in shouting matches, polarisation and spreading false narratives, would go down.

“...the biggest threat to mainstream media is not from new age digital platforms, but the mainstream media channel itself.. If you decide to invite guests who are polarising, who spread false narratives and who shout at the top of their lungs, the credibility of your channel goes down...the viewer may stop for a minute to watch the show, but will never trust your anchor, your channel or brand as a trusted and transparent source of news,” Mr. Thakur said.

The Minister was speaking at the inauguration of the Asia Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) General Conference Meeting 2022.

“Are you going to watch the narrative be defined by soundbites or redefine yourself and set the terms for your guests and channel? Are you going to watch as the younger audience switch and sweep through the shrill on TV news or are you going to bring back the neutrality in news and discussion in debates to stay ahead of the game? Are you going to show visuals that grab eyeballs and inflame anger or show restraint and project visuals in context to showcase the full picture?,” he asked.

“And finally, how will you re-define and innovate your TV news content, presentation and dissemination to reach the new age audience who is constantly being fed information via social media platforms? Instead of compromising our values in this fierce competition, we must work hard to preserve professionalism,” he advised.

“The AIBD as a regional inter-governmental organisation must continue to train and equip media practitioners with the best professional skills to gain broader freedom for our media. India stands ready to support your efforts. I am happy to note that the National Academy of Broadcasting and Multi-Media, NABM, the apex training institute of Prasar Bharati is closely collaborating with AIBD in organising trainings covering various aspects of broadcast industry,” Mr. Thakur said.

The Minister suggested that another important area of cooperation was good quality content exchange among the member countries. India has bilateral agreements in the areas of content exchange, co-production, capacity building etc. with a number of AIBD countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, Maldives, Nepal, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

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