BY V. M. KHALEELUR RAHMAN
CHENNAI : The well-known large format book retailer LANDMARK organised a debate on the media at its Nungambakkam store on Thursday, 14th October 2009 with Sanjay Pinto,Head of the news operations of NDTV 24x7 in Tamil Nadu , efficiently moderating it. Media persons Sunil, Murari and actress Khushboo were in the team supporting the media and politician Jayanthi Natarajan, advocate Geetha and former commissioner of police Natarajan were in the team opposing the media.
Sanjay told the audience that Landmark has decided to arrange such programmes on important burning issues in future. The show was well arranged and also timely. As we know the media refers to various means of communication such as television, radio and newspaper. We also know how the present day media whether electronic or print is playing its role in its presentation of news and views.
Advocate Geetha criticised the media for its meaningless hype on non-issues, projecting women badly, indulging in character assassination of individuals, highlighting superstitious beliefs as if truth, etc. She also said that there are some newspapers in states like Gujarat and Maharashtra which are openly violating all moral, legal and constitutional ethics. She felt that market forces are guiding and monopoly houses are controlling the media and it projects things as it wants for its own selfish and commercial purposes.
Actress Khushboo said at the outset that she should have been in the other group. Branding the media as commercial and money making without observing journalistic ethics said that it is not what it was before. Her remark was that even in the Pakistan initiated terror attacks in Mumbai, the national channels were covering mostly the Taj incident. However she said that we cannot deny the importance of the media in the country. The two media persons Sunil and Murari expressed the view that the media reflects the society and what it wants. There was also mention about the Pulitzer Prize given for achievements in newspaper journalism, literature and musical composition to draw the attention of the audience to the fact that Joseph Pulitzer, a “yellow journalist” was the person who initiated the Pulitzer Prize. Perhaps it was thought that the media has no alternative to what they are doing now to keep readers under its spell and increase readership. But this cannot be an acceptable argument.
The government should try to make the electronic as well as the print media follow the journalistic ethics for the betterment of the people and country.