In a special address to the gathering, Sir Mark Tully, Former Bureau Chief of BBC shared his views on the way news is reported on Indian television.
“Media is elite and disconnected with people. I think one of the problems with the media, and some of the people in the media, is that they think they are very important. Media owners think they are very important, journalists make the mistake of thinking that it is their story, and therefore they are very important. I think everyone in the media industry needs to have a strong dose of humility,” said Sir Tully.
“I would not be as well known as I am, if I hadn’t been associated with BBC. In my case, and I think in most other journalists’ cases, it is the question of the media which has created them,” he pointed out.
Sir Tully feels that radio, in India, is still in shackles. “When I went to the South Asian Conference of Media, I found that every other country in South Asia had radio that broadcast news other than India.”
According to him, “What is wrong with media is the whole concept of breaking news. Indian media has an absolute mania for breaking news. News means stories which need to be built on and investigated. The concept of breaking news creates a false sense of excitement. If you watch breaking news on Indian television now, you will frequently see that the reporter or presenter has not properly thought out what he or she wants to say.”
He pointed out that “another problem, rather an irritating one is that the chat shows which flood your screens. Because of the ease with which one can communicate, most of these hosts don’t bother to go to the studios.”
He centered his address on the fact the technology is playing a major role in media, mostly in a negative fashion. “It is very important for Indian television to look at the way it is doing breaking news, and see if some old-fashioned clarity be a good idea, and also realizing that having a little bit of civility still has some place in journalism,” he concluded.