Veteran Journalist and founder Vice Chancellor o f MCN University of Journalism and communication(Bhopal) Mr RS Sharma, who chaired the seminar, said commercialisation of news media has resulted in loss of journalists commitment to public cause. The new generation of media persons need to understand the role of healthy discussion between various organs of society. They must play their role wisely with national interest in mind.
The case for self-regulation was spearheaded by Prof BK Kuthiala, Vice Chancellor of MCN University of journalism and Communication Bhopal, who said regulators tend to become controllers in disguise he also pointed out that self regulation has not succeeded because of half hearted approach of media houses. Many participants felt focus on profit maximisation and use and misuse of media platforms for business building are the real reasons behind the loss of media credibility.
Mr Shyam Khosla, Director of Indian Media Centre and veteran Journalist, said the so called self-regulatory set-ups created by electronic media channels have failed to take off because the channel heads are in the race for TRPs and are not prepared to sacrifice profits for credibility. No regulator can succeed without commitment of the players to the rules of the game and respect for regulators whistle.
Dr Chandan Mitra, MP and Editor in Chief of The Pioneer advocated a public campaign against paid news, sting operations and intentions of Governments to muzzle the freedom of Press.
Mr PC Lohumi of Shimla said self regulation cannot work when intelligent players are bent on breaking the rules. Former Punjab Police DG Mr PC Dogra on the other hand said more laws are not the solution. Giving more powers to the police or magistracy can not improve the functioning of media. Mr Sukhbir Bajwa, President of Chandigarh Press Club; Mr Parmajit Sahai, formerly of the IFS and Mr Rupinder Singh of Safe Roads for Us also felt that the problem is very serious and the challenge needs to be addressed if all sections of society come together.
The national seminar was organised by Chandigarh Chapter of Indian Media Centre as part of two-day meeting of Governing board of Indian Media Centre, with chapters in 13 states, in ICSSR complex of the Panjab University. Governing Board members from many state chapters participated actively and prepared an action plan for next year.