Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday expressed displeasure over "TRP-centric journalism" and said that rating meters installed in 50,000 houses cannot measure the opinion of crores of people. He also asserted that the freedom of press has to be preserved in a democracy but media should remember that freedom comes with responsibility.
“TRP-centric journalism is not good. The meters installed in 50,000 houses cannot measure the opinion of 22 crore people. We would expand its circumference so that we know what the people watch and what they wish to watch,” Javadekar said during an event organised by the Indian Institute of Mass Communication
He advised media students not to be trapped in sensational or TRP-centric journalism and asked them to imbibe the skills of healthy journalism, ensuring that anything good happening in society also becomes news.
Inaugurating the orientation programme of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) for the 2020-21 academic session, Javadekar stressed that students should welcome the changes taking place in the education sector through digital technology and should take advantage of it.
The minister also said that the freedom of press has immense value in a democracy and should be preserved at any cost. “But we should keep in mind that freedom comes with responsibility. Therefore, every one of us has to be responsible. As a journalist, you understand both the aspects of the story, but your reporting should lead society in the right direction," he added. The minister said journalism is a responsibility and "not a tool to mislead people".
“There is no need for any drama or sensation if your story is based on facts. There are plenty of constructive stories in society, but sadly nobody in the media has time to publish them,” he said.
Javadekar also said that the most important lesson with regards to journalism is that everything impacting the lives of people is news and it should find adequate space in the media. In this regard, he listed several schemes of the central government that have helped citizens.
The minister said fibre connectivity in about two lakh villages has transformed the lives of millions of people in rural areas. “One can now watch 104 channels and 50 educational channels free of cost through the Doordarshan free dish. Three hundred community radio stations offer new opportunities to local artists and a change is clearly visible in those areas,” Javadekar said.
Director general of IIMC Professor Sanjay Dwivedi, additional director general K Satish Nambudiripad, all faculty members of IIMC from regional centres and students joined the orientation virtually.