Event ReportsPublished on Apr 06, 2013
Attributing activism by media to rapid decline in governance, economic scams, failings of Government agencies and religious heads, management and media consultant T.V. Krishnamurthy says the present media scenario in India is 'regulatable' but cannot be done by the government.
Media regulatable, but not by government
"Activism by the civil society, judiciary, and other statutory bodies trigger media activism," according to Mr. T V Krishnamurthy, a business and management consultant with exposure to media industry.

Initiating a discussion on "Indian Media Today" at ORF-Chennai on Saturday, April 6, 2013, Mr. Krishnamurthy gave a presentation on the media scenario in India, along with the reasons for its loss of standards and moral ethics in the profession.

Mr. Krishnamurthy said that media activism which has seen a growing trend in recent times reduces the credibility of the institutions. He also expressed concern that such trends form an unhealthy pattern and would make the public lose faith over the system of governance.

He attributed the activism by media to the lack of governance, pointing out that it was triggered after 2009 when there was a 'rapid decline' in governance. Economic scams, activism by civil society, failings of Government agencies, and religious heads also contributed to media activism. He also added that a lot of good or bad information about media comes from within because of competition amongst the media houses over TRP ratings and IRS findings.

Though there are many pros in media activism such as bringing about awareness on social issues and corruption, it also can be counter-productive when media remains silent on issues which when brought to light might take a toll on their revenue, explained Mr. Krishnamurthy while touching upon the pros and cons of media activism. He said that media activism could also trigger policy paralysis.

Mr. Krishnamurthy demarcated the lines between what media is perceived to be and what it really is. He said that media is being viewed as an object of love and hate, envy and despise by the general public. He also added that the present-day media was not like what it used to be a few years ago. He said that today's media lack ethics and are hyper-active.

He also touched upon how the PCI (Press Council of India) was established and its purpose. He also stressed upon the point that the present media scenario in India is 'regulatable' but said it cannot be done by the government.

A lot of statistics popped up during the discussion and was put out by the speaker, to point out the reach of media in the rural and urban areas of the country. He said that, of all, entertainment channels have majority reach.

The speaker also said that the present-day media is involved a lot in peddling liberalisation and corporate interests. According to him, the percentage of advertisements has changed a majority in favour of the corporate, from a Government majority of 70 cent of advertisements coming in as revenue. Though the percentage of Government advertisements has fallen substantially, it still spends phenomenally on advertisement.

"A thin line divides information and disinformation in media," said Mr. Krishnamurthy. He detailed about it by saying that, the media in order to sensationalise the news, blow it up totally out of proportion.

(This report is prepared by Ramalingam Va, I Year BA, Journalism & Mass Communication, S R M University, Chennai)

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