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‘Media has breached citizens’ trust, but all is not lost’ | The Hindu

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‘Media has breached citizens’ trust, but all is not lost’ | The Hindu 

Interesting debate on the Media Industry with senior-most journalists and media commentators of the country at the Sixth Union Debate of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) – Has Indian media breached the Trust of Citizens?

Its so timely and appropriate for my research paper for 22nd Annual AMIC conference at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia in July on the topic of Ethical Dimension of Media Industry – an Indian Perspective.

My paper attempts to understand if the burgeoning growth  of the media industry in India over last two decades in print, TV & online media with rising advertising revenue leading to the ethics of functioning of a media organization becoming the first casualty. Also in this process, is advertising revenues distorting editorial judgement as well.

Since this needs to be seen in the context of India joining the global economy in 1990s and the transition of our society from feudal to modern – the issue of media ownership patterns and cartelization in the industry has a bearing on this transition. Also, one needs to observe that the role of regulation on the print is exercised by Press Council of India but the television and online media don’t come under their purview yet and being vehemently opposed by the industry.

Another important dimension is the need for minimum qualifications for journalists as being recommended by Justice Markandey Katju, Chairman – Press Council of India but not finding favour from the media community. However, since Indian democracy is passing through this transition – a fair, transparent and free media is the cornerstone of democracry and is required at any cost. How we navigate these turbulent times with cartelization, changing media ownership patters, rising advertising revenue-based media industry will be a healthy challenge for our country.


Written by schelluri

May 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Why Srikakulam????

with 3 comments

Ask any industry captain to consider investment in Srikakulam district – all you get is a stern glare that is full of question marks?? Recent incidents of any corporation wanting to set up shop both in public & private sector have not been encouraging. Violence, death, protests, public hearings getting sabotaged, growing activism are factors worrying an investor to consider Srikakulam. But what led to this situation needs some careful understanding?

The moot question is about why Srikakulam district is unable to create employment & income generating opportunities, despite incentives from the State Govt. It has the advantage of a long coastline of 193 kms and spread over 5,837 sq. kms with a population upwards of 25 lakh; but more than 75% of the population is still dependent on agriculture, saltpans, fishing and sundry jobs.  


Whether it’s sand mining, fish research center, thermal power, nuclear power plant or pharmaceutical industry – protests are widespread. What are their lurking fears to permit and partner in any development project. Is it fear of losing land, poor compensation, provision of jobs, issue of pollution, human rights; bad rehabilitation & relocation policy for land losers; lack of proper jobs for land losers – without skill up-gradation; ill-health from the industries; political interference. Maybe a combination of all these factors and misguidance by some vested groups as well.

This kind of ambience definitely doesn’t augur well for any industry. Even if the best incentives are offered – no businessman would like to risk his investment and work in a tense environment that puts his men & material under threat of constant uncertainty. If the entire work cycle is to come under the cloud of protest & negative sentiment – he/she would re-consider his option and move to a more congenial industrial atmosphere that fosters development. Remember how the Tata Nano project moved lock stock & barrel from Singur to Sanand in the backdrop of a similar protest & negative sentiment.

INDUSTRY COMPASSION OR LACK OF IT: The scale of industry coming up or proposing to set up shop needs to take cognizance of these local issues; identify the stakeholders, understand their issues, myths & concerns and partner with both the local Panchayat officials and also with govt. administration. Is it lack of compassion by the industry captains denying these villagers who forfeit their land for the project & get a raw deal in the process and get further exploited by the vested groups and politicians. Is the industry being driven by profiteering motive and denying the local villagers their share of the progress either social, economic benefits accruing from the said project??


The biggest loser is the Srikakulam district and its citizens. Can we change this?? I propose an initiative titled Srikakulam First that will identify the issues plaguing the industrial development, partner in stakeholder engagement and work in conjunction with local villagers and Govt. administration. Members of Srikakulam First could be people with origins & roots in this district – who have done well for themselves in any area – education, politics, cinema, sports, IAS, IPS, artist, business etc. Let’s identify such people – form a committee and work on a time-bound agenda to bring change!!


This needs to be done on TOP PRIORITY – with the rising protest groups, violence in the form of protests, media reportage, angst within the village folk against any development could create the much needed gap for extremist forces to enter and create a Singur-like situation in West Bengal?? 

Written by schelluri

May 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm