New Delhi: Virtually inaugurating the Orientation Programme of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) for the academic session 2020-21, Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, on Monday, advised the media students not to be trapped in sensational or TRP-centric journalism and imbibe the skills of healthy journalism ensuring that anything good happening in society should also become news. He stressed that people should welcome change emerging in the education sector through digital technology and draw benefit from it. Apart from Director General of IIMC Prof. Sanjay Dwivedi and Additional Director General K. Satish Nambudiripad, all faculty members of IIMC from all regional centres and students joined the Orientation virtually.
Prakash Javadekar said journalism is a responsibility, not a tool to mislead people. “There is no need for any drama or sensation if your story is based on facts. There are plenty of constructive stories in society, but sadly nobody in the media has time to publish them,” he said. Elaborating constructive journalism, the Union Minister said black marketing of fertilizers is no news since the Neem coating has begun. Accidents on unmanned railway gates have effectively been curbed by either deploying people there or constructing underpasses. On the cleanliness front also there is a huge change in the railways. About five-thousand railway stations now have Wi-Fi facilities, and about a hundred airports are operational benefiting scores of people across the country. Is it all not news? He asked.
The Union Minister mentioned that fibre connectivity in about two lakh villages had transformed the lives of millions of people in rural areas. One can now watch 104 Channels and 50 educational channels free of cost through the Doordarshan free dish. Three hundred community radio stations offer new opportunities to local artists, and a change is visible in those areas. About 2.5 crore people have received houses under Pradhanmantri Grameen Aawas Yojana. About twelve crore people have received toilets. Forty crore people have bank accounts now, and about 50 crore people have the facility of free treatment up to Rs five lakh. Is this all not news? The goal of water in every home through the tap is going to be a reality after seventy years of Independence. Every village now has an electricity connection. The beneficiaries of about 500 schemes now get the subsidy and other benefits through DBT. It has curbed the drainage of Rs 1.70 lakh crore. Is this not news? I say, other happenings are also news, but these too are news. Meaning contribution to the growth of society is the duty of journalism, the Union I&B Minister added.
Prakash Javadekar said the first lesson of journalism is that everything impacting the lives of people, is the news and it should find adequate space in the media. The freedom of the press has value in democracy, and it must be protected at any cost. But we should keep in mind that freedom comes with responsibility. Therefore, every one of us has to be responsible. As a journalist, you understand both the aspects of the story, but your reporting should lead society in the right direction. TRP-centric journalism is not good. The meters installed in 50,000 houses cannot measure the opinion of 22 crores. We would expand its circumference so that we know what the people watch and what they wish to watch, he added.
In the beginning, the Director-General of IIMC, Prof. Sanjay Dwivedi, welcomed the Minister at the Orientation Programme. Later interacting with the students he said nothing is dear to a teacher than his/her pupils. The success of students is the success of teachers, institute, and managers. “All our efforts in IIMC aim at ensuring high-quality education and training to our students,” he said. He said we want learners to interact with and emulate global achievers. “Our objective is not merely to produce journalists; we want to produce global leaders who would lead the world of journalism and mass communication in the coming decade,” he added.
On the first day of the Orientation, Additional Director General K. Satish Nambudiripad introduced IIMC to the students. It was followed by the faculty introduction. Founder of ‘exchange4media’ and ‘Business World’ Dr Anurag Batra shared tips of healthy journalism with the students. Prof. Surbhi Dahiya conducted the proceedings.
Tomorrow, on Tuesday, eminent filmmaker Subhash Ghai, editor of ‘Hindustan Times’ Sukumar Ranganathan, editor of ‘Organiser Weekly’ Prafulla Ketkar, Vice-Chancellor of Gautam Buddha University Prof. Bhagwati Prakash Sharma and director of Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai, Dr J.K. Bajaj will interact with the students on different topics.