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To Bridge The Information Gap

To Bridge The Information Gap
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
The increasing gulf between India’s mainstream media and its marginalised millions has compelled many journalists to call for introspection. A seminar on ‘Media and the Right to Development’, organised by the Press Institute of India in Delhi recently, did exactly that. It deliberated on food, shelter and gender rights—issues that get less than their share of news space.

Former chief justice of India J.S. Verma called for a responsible press as facilitator in a democracy. "Jharkhand and Uttaranchal haven’t even bothered to have panchayat elections, but who’s reporting?" asked Rajesh Tandon of Participatory Research in Asia. Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan’s Aruna Roy called for "a grand alliance" between the media and the development sector.

Press Institute director Ajit Bhattacharjea lamented that the media takes "limited interest" in development issues. Prabhash Joshi, former editor of Hindi daily Jansatta, said the press was falling prey to market forces.

However, cooption by the establishment was perceived to be a bigger threat. In such a scenario, I.K. Gujral’s affirmation that readers ought to be responsible too was timely and accurate.

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