Friday, 19 October, 2007

Media urged to focus more on Society

The Indian Media might be witnessing an unprecedented growth with a host of Television Channels, Newspapers and Magazines hitting the deck every other day. Even the bottom lines of some of these outfits might tempt others to enter the fray thanks to the TPRs (Television Programme Ratings) and the Advertisement revenue that is being generated by every Newspaper looking more or less like an “Ad MAG”.

However, there is a growing concern on how “Media” is conducting itself with many a intellectual questioning its unaccountable hegemony.

On September 28th, The Institution of Engineers (AP State Centre) & Atluri Venkateshwara Rao (AVR) foundation organized the AVR Sixth Endowment Lecture on “Media, Society & Ethics,” at the FAPCCI (Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry) premises in Hyderabad.

One of the key speakers for the symposium was Dr. N. Bhaskar Rao; founder Chairman of “Centre for Media Studies.”

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Rao said that though the number of Media outfits is on the rise, contents are more or less the same in every medium and as such the focus is now more on self-centric lifestyles.

He said that now-a-days, the priority of the Media is on the markets rather than on the Society that includes our tradition, culture, value systems and society at large.

Turning his attention to the Print Media, Dr. Rao said that the rank and experience associated with the Newspapers earlier was missing today and there is nothing much to choose between advertisement and News.

Drawing a parallel between Newspapers and Television channels, Dr. Rao said that earlier Television programmes tried to imitate Newspapers, but now, Newspapers are aping News Channels.

Stating that 80 per cent of the Media is now being controlled by foreigners who are more interested in the ‘market’ rather than the Indian society. He said these vested interests are literally dictating the programmes on various TV Channels. Dr. Rao requested the Media not to fall ‘prey’ for these ‘evil’ forces that are contributing heavily for depleting yardsticks in Media ethics.

Since, Television has a strong and instant impact on the masses, Dr. Rao asked the Media to evolve a “Code of Conduct” for themselves and suggested self-regulation is the key for Media to address the concerns of the society.

Earlier, Dr. Rao talked about his association with Engineer Atluri Venkateshwara Rao and praised Mr. AVR as a multi-faceted personality who tried to imbibe social values through his writings.

The highlight of the function was felicitation of two important stalwarts from the Media. Both Print and Electronic Media.

Sri V Hanumantha Rao, Founder of Data News Features College of Journalism was conferred with 'Life Time Achievement Award’ jointly by the Institute of Engineers (AP) & Er. Atluri Subba Rao Foundation for his 55 years of service in the field of Journalism.

Similarly, Dr PJ Sudhakar, IIS, Director (News) Doordarshan, Hyderabad (Vice President - General, GFPR) was felicitated for his highest qualification with 72 academic degrees and diplomas, including PR & Journalism.

Sri Swaranjit Sen, former DGP and Sri Devulapalli Amar, Chairman, Press Academy of AP also spoke on the occasion.

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