The much-hyped Aarushi-Hemraj murder case and the 26/11 terrorist attacks as covered by the Indian media were the centre of a discussion on the role of media in governing the mindset of the masses.
The panel discussion,Matching Televisions Growing Power with Corresponding Responsibility,was held during the Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Woman Mediaperson,2008-09,in the city on Friday.
While the discussion was moderated by Shailaja Bajpai of The Indian Express,the panel included Aruna Sharma,Director General of Doordarshan,Ashutosh,editor of IBN-7 and Phil Reeves of the US National Public Radio.
The panel discussion was preceded by the award ceremony in which Nirupama Subramanian of The Hindu,who reports from Islamabad,was awarded for her contribution in reporting from overseas,and Vinita Deshmukh,editor of the Weekly Intelligent of Pune,was given the award for investigative journalism.
The two senior journalists were selected by a jury comprising Prof Nirija Gopal Jayal of JNU,Bhaskar Ghosh,CEO of Lok Sabha TV,and Raj Chengappa of India Today.
Subramanian won the award for her first-rate,analytical and balanced reporting of historic events that took place in Pakistan in recent times,while Deshmukh was selected for investigative and pro-active journalism for citizens empowerment.
In her response (read out by her sister on the occasion),Subramanium said it surprised her that some sections of the Indian media actually believed that some sort of retaliatory military strike was a viable option. Even if the government was considering it,I think it falls on us journalists to say that this can never be an option,to discourage rather than encourage it, she said.
Deshmukh,on her part,made clear how passionate journalism was overpowered by fashionable journalism. In these circumstances,there is need for dissemination of meaningful information which enables the reader to fight for her rights and helps her lead a better life, she said.