Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Anurag Thakur today inaugurated the 47th Annual Gathering and 20th Meeting of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) in presence of Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Dr. L Murugan, Secretary, I&B Shri Apurva Chandra and Director, AIBD Ms Philomena Gnanapragasam.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Thakur has said that the biggest threat to mainstream media is not from new age digital platforms, but rather the mainstream media channel itself. He went on to say that real journalism was about facing the facts, presenting the truth and letting all sides the platform to present their views.
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Inviting guests who are polarising, who spread false narratives and who shout at the top of their lungs damages the credibility of a channel, the Minister remarked. “Your decisions regarding the guest, the tone and visuals - define your credibility in the eyes of the audience. The view may stop for a minute to watch your show, but will never trust your anchor, your channel or brand as a trusted and transparent source of news”, he further added.
The Minister exhorted the broadcasters present on the occasion to not to watch the narrative be defined by soundbites but redefine it yourself and set the terms for the guests and the channel.
Posing prodding questions to the audience the Minister asked “Are you going to watch as the younger audience switches and sweeps through the shrill on TV news or are you going to bring back the Neutrality in NEWS and Discussion in DEBATES to stay ahead of the game?”
Shri Anurag Thakur credited the AIBD leadership during the COVID pandemic for keeping the member countries connected online and maintaining a constant dialogue on how media can mitigate the impact of the pandemic. He noted “member countries were immensely benefitted through sharing of information on the latest developments in the medical field, positive stories of Covid warriors and more importantly in countering fake news which was spreading faster than the pandemic.” Shri Thakur congratulated Director of AIBD, Ms. Philomena, President of AIBD General conference, Mr. Mayank Agrawal and the member countries who worked together in building a strong media response to Covid pandemic in the Asia Pacific region.