What is the future of Indian Media? Is the face of media changing with increasing digitization? Do people still trust what they read or see?
These questions are being constantly asked to scholars, media experts and industry stalwarts at several national and international forums. I think that these questions need to be divided into two parts – face of media in the future and the trust of people in media and journalists.
Watch Dr. Subhash Chandra’s address in Shri Ram College of Commerce:
Trust in Media
A year back, I went on a tour with the senior editors of Zee Media channels to talk to the viewers and understand that what do they think of news. And it was clear that the mistrust of people in journalists and the profession of journalism has grown phenomenally. People think that most of the news is agenda-driven and is aligned to one thought process or the other.
This is not only an Indian phenomenon. Journalism as a profession is losing its credibility all over the world. According to a report by Reuters, the lack of trust in Media is highest in Greece, only one in five people said that they trust news.
Clearly, there is an urgent need to build credibility and trust in the media industry as it plays an important role in influencing and forming opinions of people. With Zee, we reach 300 million people through our television channels and constantly envision spreading Indian culture and its ethos to the entire world. At the same time, we are constantly working towards delivering clean and relevant news to our viewers.
Changing face of Media
With digitization and social media, opinions and news analysis are not only left with a few. Anyone can now express his or her opinion. No news is hidden from people.
And this access can actually bring credibility back to the media industry. People can now themselves become media. They can provide news to media houses & also broadcast their own on social media. If the one who mistrusts, himself/herself becomes part of the process, then one can restore credibility and transparency in the industry.
However, with increasing digitization, one has to make sure that cyber laws are in place. They need to be stringent and watertight.
With power comes responsibility
It is true that social media is a great platform to express our opinions and it is fully aligned with our democratic principles of freedom of speech. It is our right but at the same time, we cannot forget our duty to be responsible in what we express. There is a thin line between opinion and something amounting to instigation. It is essential that every citizen understands this fine line and acts accordingly.