September 1, 2016
Union Information and Broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu says department working on policy. It is also aiming to revive community radio as an effective tool of communications. The central government wants media to partner the government in the India growth story.
Chennai: For a government that sees communications as a critical area of governance, the Modi government has begun to step up its engagement with the media and wants it as a partner in the India growth story.
Inaugurating a two-day regional editors conference here in Chennai, union information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu hoped the media would play its part in the progress of the country. The media he said could play an important role by empowering the masses with true, objective and correct information without introducing any bias and refrained from giving news developments castiest colour.
In its hurry to score over the others, the media should not make truth and objectivity a casualty, Naidu said and added, the regional media had a greater role to play as it was closer to the masses and spoke its language.
At a time when in the rest of the world, print media was facing tough times, in India it was experiencing growth, driven by the regional print media with pressure and demand coming from smaller towns and bigger rural areas, the minister said.
Given the crucial job the media was doing, he said he was sure that media would strike a balance between freedom of expression and the need to exercise reasonable restraint so that no divisive communication emerged out of writings that can make lasting impression on people.
The Indian print media industry is growing, Naidu said and added advertising revenue too increased by 9 per cent to Rs 62 billion and circulation figures rose by eight per cent. The number of new print publications increased by 3.1 per cent with the addition of 5,817 media products.
The government is preparing a new communications policy. “The I & B ministry is working out the details of the policy,” the minister said in conversation with the media representatives. The minister noted that the success of development programmes of the government depended on mass mobilization of the people. And in this media played an important role, Naidu said.
“The Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has placed communication as a critical component in the Governance of the Nation” Naidu said.
Regional media, Naidu said was placed uniquely in connecting the government and the people by focusing on regional and local issues.
He cautioned the media about divisive forces and said on human rights, even the victims of terror have human rights and not just those who engaged in terrorism. Naidu also cautioned the media bout casteism and hoped that the fourth estate would not fan such sentiments.
”One should not identify those imprisoned by their caste or religion. Illegal detention is not correct. One can seek fast track adjudication but not on the basis of caste or religion. Media should guard itself while reporting on such demands and events,” Naidu said.
Tamil Nadu Minister of Information & Publicity Kadambur Raju, said the state government was creating an environment to enable the effective functioning of the media.
The Press Information Bureau organized a two-day conference of editors to appraise them of the Modi govenrment’s new policy initiatives. Representatives from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka are also attending the two day meet. The deliberations would cover developments in key areas, including Urban Development, Information Technology, Coastal security, Commerce and Industry and Shipping and Highways Development.