?Media should be more professional in business coverage?
A lively interaction on role of media vis-à-vis corporate world saw some thought-provoking views being expressed at Hotel Jehan Numa today morning. The interaction on ‘sustainable economic growth through media & industry partnership’ was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Madhya Pradesh.
It was felt that media, especially the vernacular one, have to gear up to adopt more professional approach towards business reporting. Also, media persons highlighted the problems they face due to lack of transparency and ethics, influence-peddling and pressures brought to bear on them by the corporate world.
Addressing the session organised on the occasion of CII’s state annual day, director Forbes Marshall and deputy chairman, CII (W Region), Farhad Forbes emphasised that the reporting on business issues need to be more on the basis of data and facts and serve to educate the common man.
“Instead of specifically going for stories on few corporate houses, hard economic facts at micro & macro levels on a broader perspective should be inculcated,” he counselled.
Coming down heavily on present reporting trend in business dailies and advertising-driven media, which tend to focus on 500 BSE-listed companies and getting more metro-centric, media personality & director, Samyak Communications, Rahul Dev strongly advocated more coverage of SME and farm sectors.
“We need more trained business journalists in Hindi media, where the situation is quite pathetic vis-à-vis economic issues,” he lamented.
He admitted that purchasing the media by big business houses to suppress stories against them is a ‘bitter truth’. He said while listed companies contribute just 15 per cent to GDP, the SMEs and agro sector have 35 percent share in India’s economy and export. “ Therefore, it’s also the responsibility of big chambers like CII, FICCI etc in bringing transformation and become tolerant to criticism,” Dev asserted.
He mentioned that in the face of huge economic challenge before the nation today, a positive change in bureaucratic attitude is the need of the hour.
Chairman, CII MP state council, Vipin Mullick stressed on balance between industry & media and a constructive partnership between the two to formulate an agenda for government, so that a double-digit growth could be achieved.
Emphasising on strengthening institutional mechanism in all sphere of life, Associate Editor, Hindustan Times, Vipul Mudgal said both media and the corporate world have a great role to play.
Resident Editor, Hindustan Times, Askari Zaidi, said coverage of business and corporate affairs in general dailies is different from hardcore business papers. While general dailies look more closely to political fallout of the business-related decision, pink papers sharply focus on corporate world’s happenings.
Citing example of the HT, Zaidi said while reporting business issues, emphasis is more on consumer related issues, monopolistic trends in business and its consequences, and the stories that interest the common reader.
Citing Gujarat’s example, Dainik Bhaskar’s group editor Shravan Garg said the State’s growth is not due to any individual or institution but because the mindset of people as a whole.
“Media and readers partnership is important, rather than quibbling over whether market will decide media’s role or media drives the market,” he added.
Principal Secretary (IT) Padamvir Singh stressed on defining the role of media towards business and industry, saying that its role should be more of providing feedback than become adversarial.
President, Govindpura Industries Association Shalabh Sharma lamented that media in general tends to take up the cause of big industries rather than SSIs in the State.
“The fear of government and bureaucracy also prevents small industries from being articulate about their problems which the media can take up,” he said.