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‘Pressure of 24X7 news has diluted quality of content’

The two-day seminar on ‘Regional press - power,reach and influence’ saw an impressive start on Thursday with a keynote address by H K Dua,Editor-in-Chief...

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh |
March 20, 2009 12:12:01 am

The two-day seminar on ‘Regional press – power,reach and influence’ saw an impressive start on Thursday with a keynote address by H K Dua,Editor-in-Chief,The Tribune,and Professor Robin Jeffery from the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies,Australian National University,Canberra.

The seminar is being organised by the Australian High Commission in association with the Chandigarh Press Club. Representatives from the broadcast and print media from across the region gathered to share their views on various media-related topics. 

The seminar,divided into three sessions,touched upon various issues such as the influence of media,its reach and credibility,trivialisation and sensationalism in the electronic media,the impact of globalisation on the regional press,the challenges ahead,the impact of media on social discourse and the vernacular press.

Accepting the fact that both the media and society influence each other,Navin Suri,Editor,Milap Group,said that the press is also influenced by politics and market forces.

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Touching upon the changes in the media,Kanwar Sandhu,Editor,Hindustan Times Chandigarh,emphasised that women have made their mark as journalists in the regional press. Expressing concern over the economic slowdown,Sandhu said the media has been hit hard with the downturn affecting advertising revenues resulting in the reduction of pages by newspapers.

“Due to lack of trained journalists at the grassroots level and the trend of sting operations,the credibility of media has gone down. Adding to it is the problem of sensationalism found at a greater degree in the regional press,” said Sandhu.  

Speaking on the much talked about issue of trivialisation,sensationalism and glamourisation in the media,Umesh Upadhyay,a television producer from Delhi,gave several examples,including the Aarushi murder case.

Concerned about the recent trend of full page advertisements presented as news especially from political parties,G S Sidhu Damdami,Editor,Punjabi Tribune,Chandigarh,said the management of the media house should act more responsibly. 

Arun Anand,Executive Editor,Hindi Service,Indo-Asian News Service,Delhi,shared his experiences of working in both a Hindi and an English media group. “Market forces have forced newspapers to be sold like products. The impact of globalisation on the regional press is very much evident from the language used in newspapers which is a mix of Hindi and English. The management considers it to be a tool to reach the upper middle segment of the society,” said Anand.  

“The pressure of delivering news 24X7 has diluted the quality of its content. The editors are popularising journalism rather than practicing it,” said Alok Mehta,Chief Editor,Nai Duniya.

Sarabjit Pandher,president of the Chandigarh Press Club,also shared his views on popular media and its impact on social discourse.

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