‘Indian media now needs to look at quality’

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed the 66th Annual General Meeting of Indian Language Newspapers Association in New Delhi on Wednesday:

“There is concern all over the world over that the growth of television and internet threatens the survival of print media. In many countries, readership of newspapers is declining. Even in India, there is a deceleration in the growth of English language publications. Despite these developments, I am very happy to note that Indian language newspapers have bucked this trend. The readership and circulation of Indian language newspapers is growing rapidly.

“We have witnessed, in India, an unprecedented growth both in readership and viewership of media. Rising literacy rates, growing political awareness and rising levels of incomes, along with processes of urbanisation, have contributed to this phenomena. It may be no exaggeration to suggest that we are living through a golden era of Indian media. The expansion of your market has contributed to greater employment opportunities as well as the growth of other media related industries and services.

“This growth has also widened the choice available to your readers and viewers. There is much greater variety, today, in terms of opinion and coverage. Depending on one’s outlook, income and interest, one can pick and choose a newspaper or a channel of one’s choice. Such diversity is always good in a democracy.

“On the other hand, I must draw your attention to certain issues and urge you to reflect on them. I have said in the past that the quantitative growth we have witnessed in Indian media has outpaced qualitative growth. This is understandable partly because demand has been outstripping the supply of well trained journalists. In the long run, I hope, as supply adjust this problem will get addressed. But it does need the attention of your industry.”

Read the full text here: The PM’s address

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