Television

Language media has shown greater resilience than English newspapers: PM

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NEW DELHI: Noting that ‘we are living through a golden era of Indian media’, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said there had been an unprecedented growth both in readership and viewership in India and language newspapers managed to show growth in a scenario of ‘concern all over the world over that the growth of television and internet threatens the survival of print media.’

However, Singh said that the quantitative growth in Indian media had outpaced qualitative growth. "This is understandable partly because demand has been outstripping the supply of well trained journalists," he added.

Inaugurating the 66th Annual General Meeting of the Indian Language Newspapers Association, Singh expressed the hope that greater attention will be paid to the challenge of improving the quality of journalism in our country. He also gave away awards to the regional language/publications for their outstanding contribution in the field of language journalism.

Singh added: ‘You are the medium through which the message of modernisation, the message of development, the message of national integration and the message of social justice must go to the far corners of our country. You have to promote communal harmony and secular values, which are the bedrock of our nation. You have a vital role to play in the transformation of our society and our polity’.

He said rising literacy rates, growing political awareness and rising levels of incomes, along with processes of urbanisation, had contributed to the growth in the media. But this growth had also widened the choice available to readers and viewers. Such diversity is always good in a democracy.

Noting that language newspapers had shown greater resilience in the face of competition from the electronic media as compared to English journalism, he said "the challenge before is to help take India forward by changing the mindsets of the population, since the vast majority of our people see the world through your eyes. Modernisation is not just about better infrastructure, not about mere more creative comforts or the way we dress and live. Modernisation in the final analysis is an attitude of the state of the mind of our people."

The media had to play a watchdog role in a democracy and the government benefited enormously from the criticism and the corrective advice of the media. Whenever there are leakages or administrative inadequacy, it is the duty of the media and other civil society agents to highlight these weaknesses. "However, criticism should not promote cynicism or negativism. It should encourage positive change and give hope to our people. I hope our media will continue to play a positive developmental role and strengthen our country and empower our people and strengthen the bonds of communion and community feeling, fellow feeling among various citizens of our great country," the Prime Minister concluded.

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