‘Quantitative growth vs qualitative improvement’

Editorial in Business Standard:

“These exposes [of paid news, nexus between media professionals and corporate lobbyists, etc] are, however, only the tip of an iceberg of professional misconduct in the Indian media.

“The unprecedented quantitative growth of media in the past decade has overtaken qualitative improvement. The enormous improvement in financial compensation has, paradoxically, blunted the edge of professionalism. But these problems pale into insignificance against the rising tide of corporate and political influence, interference and control in the media.

“An increasing number of television channels and newspapers and news magazines are either owned by politicians with parallel business interests or business persons with political affiliations. These and the growing dependence of the media on advertisement revenue are undermining the independence of the fourth estate.

“The good news, however, is that increasing competition and an expansion of the market have acted as built-in stabilisers. The wider range of media options does empower readers and viewers. Competition is, in the final analysis, the best guarantor of quality and professionalism. In the medium to long term, however, Indian media must depend less on advertising and more on subscriptions to be able to liberate itself from the pressure of vested interests”

Read the full editorial: Bonfire of the vanities

Also read:Has media credibility suffered a body-blow?

‘Go to bed knowing you haven’t succumbed’

 

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