How do you see the media evolving in India?
The media has evolved exceptionally fast in India. It is quite commendable how the country has adopted various types of news mediums, which also includes social media. In short, the evolution from print to digital has been excellent in India.
What is your take on the mushrooming publications and TV channels?
This is an area of concern. Every second day, a new portal or television channel is being launched. With the news flow increasing on social media, I feel that it has become overkill. I wish there were some regulations on this front, so that the readers and viewers could make an informed choice.
What according to you is the narrative of the fourth estate?
The narrative has not exactly been what one would have hoped for. It has all become about taking sides today. The compulsions are very high considering the economics of the business as well. Every media needs advertisements to survive and hence they are left with no option but to take sides. The fact that those in politics are investing in news mediums has also changed the narrative for the worse.
As a responsible citizen of this country, if given a chance, what corrections you want to make in today’s journalism?
I would like to hit the rewind button taking the media back to what it was 20 years ago. Hard-hitting investigative journalism should make its return, where reporters along with their editors spent hours sometimes even days to plan and then break a major story. Today, it is a breaking news era and that has killed journalism to a large extent. There is no time to plan a story. I wish the focus gets back to a big story or expose rather than work the entire day on breaking news alone.
There’s an uproar that democracy is in danger. What is your take on this?
That depends. That a narrative set by a few who would not agree with the views of the ruling dispensation. There was a similar debate during the days of the Emergency. Similar discussions had cropped up when judges in the Supreme Court had been superseded. In this context, I would like to bring your attention to the press conference by the judges of the Supreme Court. They argued that the CJI was allowing cases at will. The press conference too tried to state that democracy was in danger. Has anything changed in the Supreme Court? CJI continues to be the master of the roster. Inquiries are heard ex-parte and findings are concealed. However, there is one thing I would like to add here. No matter what anyone says, democracy will never be broken in this country.
What’s your message to our readers?
You are lucky to be reading Afternoon Voice. You are lucky that you still read in-depth, good stories in print. Cherish it.
How do you want us to improve as a Parallel media after 10 years of the successful journey?
My advice would be more visibility on social media. Expand to neighbouring states. More importantly, continue with all the good work you have been doing.