A country’s media industry scene gives its civilisation and culture!
How our media sector is doing?
The size, ownership, funding and the freedoms a media enjoys decides the purity of the media service.
Not all countries enjoy great reputations in the media industry. We, in India, inherited a great media tradition from our British colonial association. But today we need to invent ourselves to suit our times and our own country’s priorities.
Vadamalai Media is a very small venture and priorities thus we have to be modest considering the fast-changing media world today. Of course we now live in a very radically changed world with new technological revolutions, with Internet and other technologies, specially the revolution communications technologies had transformed the way we live and communicate and do businesses.
As for the current media scenario, we needn’t tell much, except to point out how every citizen of the entire world is driven by the mobile tech experiences. We have all the modern tech devices but do we really enjoy our freedoms thanks to these modern conveniences? Do we have role models in the media scenario today?
And editors like C.P.Scott of the Manchester, Guardian or a very independent editor like Harold Evans who passed way, alas, recently. The entire world is now on our palm thanks to the mobile phone and we enjoy so many freedoms to talks and converse with our friends and neighbours, why, with out own kith and kind even based abroad! So many conveniences at the touch of a click but do we enjoy all our freedoms? That is a question not many seem like asking!
Anyway, we were very much inspired and influenced by our experience in England where we went to Oxford for two generations. For printed media England is still the mother you try where the media grew into a mighty social force and generations of great editors, why, owners and others were great path finders. Just recently, a great editor of the old tradition, Sir Harold Evans passed away and he was for a long time the editor of The Times and he was later the editor of the Sunday Times. In our Oxford days we used to read the British newspapers very very avidly and in the process we also became acquainted with some of the big names in particular, we knew some of the greats, one is the well-known name, the late Kingsley Martin who edited the Statesman, which became the voice of British Labour Party, voice of British socialism and it was a very civilised era.
The London Times is still the bible for media men and women and though it has now become so emasculated there are stories from that long era of socially committed media times. Today? And in India today?
If the current controversies and debates in India is any indication, it is now a chaotic world, indeed. The media known in both the print and the mediums are marked by a very deplorable tabloid culture and baseless allegations, crime stories and also very criminal stories hogging the headlines are the staples fed ever house of the day. The more tabloid the more noisy and sounding more profitable. Now, the country is also undergoing some disturbing changes. First, there is no question time today in Parliament and the PM, as it used to be not conducting press conferences where the journalists can ask questions on the very government functioning and thus there is a sort of one way traffic.
In this scenario comes some very other disturbing news items. How the media is owned and funded is a question no one asks. Thus we see some of the biggest corporates buying out the media houses. Also, in their fight for survival, some news channels are resorting to some dubious funding processes. If the media is controlled by the monopoly capital, then, that is the end of media freedoms.
Already the lives of journalists are not easy, there is widespread fear in the society at large, no one hear dissent, there are no free speeches. And no exchange of views as it should be in an open society and a democracy. The role of the Opposition parties is also under threat and the opposition too doesn’t conduct themselves in a responsible way. So the media industry as we see today is not in a healthy and positive way. Now, what chance is there for a development oriented media space?
Is there any chance that a sectors’ vital sector indeed, like agriculture and rural development where the vast mass of people are concentrated has any chance to be heard in a fair and objective manner. Long time ago, the government used to promote development journalism. We like to request the government to create a space for the development journalism, with suitable incentives like priority in advertisement budgets and also many other priorities. The bureaucracy of the Indian broadcasting department almost ignored the development journalism space. Of course much more important is the need to create more awareness and also support for development journalism space.
Our print publications for the last quarter of a century is something unique and we want the Indian media fraternity to know our existence!
We firmly believe the agriculture and rural development are the perennial themes and we hope we will see much awareness coming in the time of online media and even here we are already on the way to carve out a special place for our online, digital transformation, the way we prioritise and go for the overmuch needed awareness. Only an awakened section of people in agriculture can raise productivity and help to raise the incomes of farmers and endless labour without much ideological noises. Thank you.