'Rate cards for paid news shocking'

National seminar on Media - Ethics and Practices begins at Besant Womens College

Newspapers in India are very cheap. Hence, it is evident that they do not function on basis of circulation but generate revenue from advertisements, said Creative Writer and Journalism Teacher Shreekumar Verma.

Delivering the keynote address on, 'Media -Ethics and Practices' organised by Beasant Women's College on Thursday, he said that today newspapers are heavily dependent on corporate bodies.

A leading newspaper has confessed that only three per cent of it's revenue is created from circulation and 97 per cent from advertisements. "Hence, in this scenario, there will be give and take policy at some point and journalistic ethics and practices could be compromised," he said.

Politicians use media as a tool. It is shocking that some media houses have rate cards for paid journalism, he said.

Speaking on the trend followed by the Indian Media over the years, he said that our media have gone through both extremes, from heroism to villainy.

There was a time when five major newspapers such as The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Indian Express and The Statesman that dictated policies and created and moulded public opinion.

However, after emergency, the scenario changed and journalism was weakened. In the 1990s there was a sudden turn in Indian Journalism with investigative reporting. Media houses started looking beyond headlines and went behind actual stories. They managed to open the curtain of secrecy put to hide different issues.

However, the power of media was understood when people came out from their houses, demanding the Lokpal bill and supporting Anna Hazare.

This rave was created by media.
With modern technologies such as  television, blogs, and social networking sites communicating and receiving information has become easier, he opined.

"In Journalism field, you work and learn and you learn and work. Journalism is beyond the theory that is taught to students in journalism colleges," he said.

He advised students to be well read. Media is progressing in a break-neck speed due to technologies. Students have to be well prepared when the enter the field as professionals, he said.Mangalore University Department of Mass Communication and Journalism Professor Dr G P Shivaram said that media today, needs to be unbiased.
"Freedom of Expression is the basic foundation of society but freedom should not harm the society," said Besant College Principal Dr Manjula KT.

Seminar Coordinator Anisha spoke on the theme of the seminar.          

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