Media should focus on constructive agenda building processes: N. Ram

N. Ram addresses the national conference on media.  

Remarking that media can participate in virtuous and peaceful agenda-building processes to help produce democratic and progressive outcomes, eminent journalist and director of The Hindu Publishing Group (THG), N. Ram, cautioned against baneful trends of hyper-nationalism and chauvinism pervading the media.

“The media does not do agenda setting. That is too tall a claim. But it can participate in virtuous, peaceful, helpful agenda-building processes to produce democratic and progressive outcomes. And what could be more democratic and constructive than the pursuit of peace,” said Mr. Ram, speaking at the inaugural session of the second national conference on media and journalism held virtually by the Pune-based Maharashtra Institute of Technology-World Peace University (MIT-WPU).

He further said there was a perception in India and across the globe that there had been a deterioration in the performance of media, while stressing the need for journalism to rise above superficiality and dilettantism.

“In different parts of the world, why are people losing trust in journalism? At least there is the perception that there’s been a deterioration in the performance of the media. This is being actively debated in journalism schools in western countries,” Mr. Ram observed.

Remarking that truth was deeper than merely getting into facts, Mr. Ram said that facts must never be allowed to get in way of truth, citing veteran journalist James Cameron’s 1974 book An Indian Summer.

Stating that delivering news with responsibility was the need of the hour, Mr. Ram expressed concern at the rising levels of intolerance in the country.

“Toleration levels have gone down and the law does not apply equally as is evident in the lynching of innocent members of the minority community and the Delhi riots. The role of the media has to be looked at carefully in such incidents,” he said.

A number of prominent dignitaries from academia, the media and politics participated in the discussion.

Professor Vishwanath Karad, founder, MIT-WPU, said that it was the duty of media to spread awareness and educate the masses, and that the media industry needed people with passion in order to achieve the goal of spreading peace in the world.

Emphasising media ethics, noted academic Dr. Pushpesh Pant pointed out that the relations between media houses and politicians needed to be critically examined.

Political commentator and policy analyst Sanjaya Baru said that the immense capacity of Indian media needed to be tapped, especially in the coverage of global events and their relation to India, and in shaping Indian policy.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 10:54:43 AM |

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