Beam news without drama, Smriti Irani urges channels

Beam news without drama, Smriti Irani urges channels

Private channels must disseminate news without the “added element of drama”, Information & Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani said on Thursday.

Delivering the annual Sardar Patel memorial lecture here, she lamented that news dissemination has been reduced to a “spectator sport” and “headline” competing with hashtags in social media, with technology blurring the line between content and broadcast.

Smriti differed from the widespread view that social media technology is a “disruptor” in news propagation, hailing it instead as a “New medium to tell stories differently.”

“How many of us have envisaged that one day a time will come in India when headlines will compete with hashtags?” she asked. “How many of us have envisaged that every line you (journalists) write will be challenged through social media,”

Titled “Model of broadcast landscape for democracies”, the lecture was organized by All India Radio.
Talking about “prevailing trends” in private news broadcasting, the I&B Minister said not all private news channels were abiding by the “ethics and conduct rules.”

“How many of us know that one of the biggest services we can give as broadcasters is to give the news but not with an added element of drama? How many of us have envisaged that a journalist who works in the broadcasting sphere does have templates of ethics and conduct rules that they need to abide by but others don’t live by the same rules?” she asked.

While profit is the prime factor for most private news channels, Smriti said public broadcasters disseminate information in the “wider public interest.”

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