New Delhi: One of the biggest services a broadcaster can render to the democracy is to present news sans the “element of drama”, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani said on Thursday.
“How many of us in the private sector are always told that news in some medium or the other has become almost a spectator’s sport?” Irani said while delivering the annual Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture here on the topic “Model of Broadcast Landscape for Democracies”.
“How many of us know that if you want to serve the democracy, one of the biggest service one can give as a broadcaster is to give the news but not with an added element of drama so that we underline for the consumer that news can only be interesting if it has a controversy attached to it,” she added.
She said that in order to give a “model template” of engaging through information with our citizens, it is “incumbent upon us to be responsible as the news giver in the dissemination of information”.
Praising the public broadcasters Prasar Bharti, Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR), Irani said that they provide services in areas where private sector does not deem fit or profitable to go.
“Let me congratulate the public broadcasters for always putting the public interest above profit and business interest which actually captures the imagination of every other broadcasters in the country,” the Minister said.
Irani said that while a certain section of the media space adhered to codes, ethics and conduct rules, the other segment was driven by rush for TRPs.
She stressed that the model structure of broadcasting should focus on democratised viewership based on an accurate measurement system that reflects the strength of regional languages, varied tastes of viewers and one that bridges the divide on issues related to agenda setting, creative content and revenue between the mainstream and regional platforms.
The Minister said it would be the endeavour of her Ministry to promote the concept of “design thinkers” for content generation in the digital space in the light of the growing use of technology by the young generation in areas of internet, mobile content and animation and gaming.
This would also incorporate the vision of New India of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she added.
The Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture is organised annually by the All India Radio since 1955.
The first lecture was delivered by C. Rajagopalachari. Other prominent personalities including Zakir Hussain, Karan Singh, Jayant Narlikar, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and N. Ram have delivered lectures in the past on various topics.