The biggest threat to mainstream media is not from new age digital platforms, but rather the mainstream media channel itself - Anurag Thakur
NEW DELHI, Sep 20 (The CONNECT) - Polarisation through false narratives and shouting at the top of the lungs damages the credibility of news television channels, said Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur.
the biggest threat to mainstream media is not from new age digital platforms, but rather the mainstream media channel itself, Thakur said inaugurating the annual gathering and 20th Meeting of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD).
He went on to say that real journalism is about facing the facts, presenting the truth and letting all sides the platform to present their views.
“Your decisions regarding the guest, the tone and visuals - define your credibility in the eyes of the audience. The viewer may stop for a minute to watch your show, but will never trust your anchor, your channel or brand as a trusted and transparent source of news”, he opined.
Posing prodding questions to the audience the Minister asked “Are you going to watch as the younger audience switches and sweeps through the shrill on TV news or are you going to bring back the Neutrality in NEWS and Discussion in DEBATES to stay ahead of the game?”
Thakur credited the AIBD leadership during the COVID pandemic for keeping the member countries connected online and maintaining a constant dialogue on how media can mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
He noted “member countries were immensely benefitted through sharing of information on the latest developments in the medical field, positive stories of Covid warriors and more importantly in countering fake news which was spreading faster than the pandemic.”
Speaking on the theme of the event ‘Building a stronger future for broadcasting in the post pandemic era’, the Minister remarked that “though broadcast media is and has always been in the mainstream of journalism, the COVID-19 era has shaped its structure in a more strategic way. Covid pandemic has taught us how the right and timely information can save millions of lives. It is media which brought the world on one platform during this difficult phase and reinforced the spirit of one global family.”
Presenting the role of Indian media during the pandemic as a success story, he said that the media ensured that COVID-19 awareness messages, important government guidelines and free online consultations with doctors reached everyone in nook and corner of the country.
He underlined that media, in all its forms, has immense ability to shape public perceptions and perspectives as an effective tool of empowerment. “It is imperative to create an enabling environment for our journalists and broadcaster friends for making the space of media more vibrant and rewarding”, he added.
Mayank Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, Prasar Bharati and President, AIBD, in his remarks said that AIBD continued its training and capacity building programmes even during lockdowns. 34 training programmes were conducted in last year alone and were focused on tradition as well as emerging issues like climate change, green technologies, sustainable development, faster reporting, programming for children etc.
Agarwal highlighted that with increase in use of internet in broadcasting, training of journalists in cyber security journalism has become imperative, he said. He added that AIBD is the first set up to take this up as part of its training programmes.
AIBD director Philomena Gnanapragasam said that content is going to determine the future of media and how the content is shared and monetised will determine the future of broadcasting.
During the event, Union Minister Shri Anurag Thakur presided over the award presentation for 2021 and 2022. The Appreciation Award for 2021 was conferred on Radio Television Brunei. The Appreciation Award for 2022 was shared by Ministry of Economy, Civil Service, Communications, Housing and Community Development, Republic of Fiji and Fiji Broadcasting Corporation.
The Lifetime Achievement Award for 2021 was given to Khieu Khanharith, Minister of Information and Communication, Cambodia. The Lifetime Achievement Award for 2022 was conferred on Mayank Agarwal, CEO, PB and President, AIBD.
AIBD was established in 1977 under the auspices of UNESCO. It is a unique regional inter-governmental organisation servicing countries of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in the field of electronic media development. It is hosted by the Government of Malaysia and the secretariat is located in Kuala Lumpur.
The Institute currently has 26 Full Member countries, represented by 43 organisations, and 50 Affiliate Members (organisations) with a total membership of 93 representing 46 countries and regions and over 50 partners in Asia, Pacific, Europe, Africa, Arab States and North America.
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