‘New government should lay foundation for improving relationship with media industry’

MUMBAI: The relationship between the media and entertainment industry and the government has "broken". The industry and the new government that would be formed after the general elections should lay a new foundation for improving the relationship.

That was the clarion call by Star India CEO and FICCI Media and Entertainment Committee Chairman Uday Shankar in his opening remarks at the 15th FICCI-Frames in Mumbai.

Unless all the stakeholders get together for the betterment of the industry, the vibrancy of the media and entertainment sector will be at stake and the biggest victim will be free expression, said Shankar.

He asked, “Why not nourish an industry that has huge potential? Why not support an industry that needs policy support and nor resources support?”

The media and entertainment industry needs recognition that it is a potential economic growth engine and a force multiplier, he stated.

He said the media and entertainment industry grew by 12 per cent in 2013 despite economic headwinds and added “it is a testament to the tenacity of the industry.”

There is now tension between the media and entertainment industry and the government with the successive governments limiting free speech, he said.

Surprisingly, irrespective of the party, the media has been at the receiving end. “Whether you trumpet youth leaders or the state leaders, media is asked to be accountable,” Shankar said.

He also pointed out that the media created a political party out of thin air and put it in power, but eventually the same outfit has started making accusations against the media the moment accountability was sought.

The government has not been able to harness the potential of the media and before the elections kick starts there needs to be a new “contract” between the media industry and the government, Shankar said.

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