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Media to Media Connect 1

Language Press: Challenges & Opportunities

Language Press: Challenges & Opportunities

Monday, 21 Sept 2020 (6.30 pm - 8.00 pm)

Dr Milind Pande - The learned speaker began by stating that it is his belief that the entire purpose of media is to spread to as many people as possible. This requires that the bias towards the few larger and well established languages should be alleviated. He also notes the slow but steady growth in English and Hindi media at the expense of local languages. He holds the media responsible for upholding democratic principle by ensuring the problems plaguing society are explained to as many people as possible. He also states that the strength of newspapers is local coverage.

Jayant Mainkar - The learned speaker spoke about the issue very eloquently by understanding both the advantages and the disadvantages of local language media, specifically in the print media spectrum. He elaborated upon the role of print journalism and is of the opinion that despite digitization, there is also a niche from print journalism at a micro level. He then stated he looks forward to moderating this session.

Vishram Dhole - The learned speaker stated that the digitization we find ourselves in ensures that regional language media must also adapt accordingly. He spoke of how regional languages cannot be thought of in geographical terms, rather in cultural ones. He also acknowledges that content is King while understanding that distribution is kingmaker. He stresses the point that an overhaul of regional language media distribution channels will aid them immensely. He is also of the opinion that as big as a few languages get, regional languages will always have their own clientele.

Raj Kumar - The learned speaker stated that the statistics of regional languages is actually in favor of growth. He states the example of popular journalist Mr Goswami who is an excellent english commentator but who switched to Hindi when he started republic TV. Thus he explains the power of regional languages and the fact that all that is required to lift up regional languages is investment and infrastructure for the market is there indeed. He expresses faith in the belief that this will eventually occur.

Mr Harish - The learned speaker is of the opinion that eventually, under an umbrella language, regional languages will see tremendous growth as the proliferation of the digital age has ensured that information can reach anyone, and thus individuals pay more attention to getting the point across and as such regional media is alive and well. He bemoans the loss of quality due to digitizations but also holds form to the belief that those for whom the preference is a newspaper, shall always prefer to get their news via that medium. He also suggests that it is easier to play to a clearly defined demographic than generalised news with respect to profitability and investment.

Ritesh Lakhi - The learned speaker started by explaining the difference between a vernacular language and a regional language. He states that the biggest issue facing regional languages is that most of the talent pool tend to go for English media where they do not often succeed due to the intense competition and dearth of opportunity. If the same people apply for regional media, they can become successful and also cause the growth of regional media. He is also of the opinion that advertisement tends to favor english papers rather than regional papers. This is also a very important cause of the stagnation of regional media. He wishes to see this trend reversed.

Dinesh Joyal - The learned speaker stated that in his opinion the biggest danger regional media faces is the intimidation and violence faced by the journalists who work for regional media. Only the national paper journalists get recognition and protection to pursue sensitive stories. This courtesy is not extended to regional journalists since their reach is also locally limited. He speaks of how on a local level it is very difficult to find profitability, integrity and neutrality within regional media as on a local level these qualities are at odds with each other. He also states that since his retirement he has noticed that almost no one goes for regional newspapers anymore, and that is due to there being almost no substance in regional media. He spoke of how fake news and profitability have hollowed out ethical journalism, and this perplexes and vexes the speaker.

Prof Dr Vishwanath D Karad - The honourable speaker thanked everyone who had participated in the session and was appreciative of the quality of the dialogue that he encountered. He reiterated on his desire for global peace and harmony, especially in these times of pandemic and economic slowdown. He also spoke of how the utilization of science must be for beneficial purposes and not anything else. He drew parallels between a heart to heart connect and the present media to media connect topic that was what the sessions were about.

Prof Nitin Sharma - The learned speaker stated that this has been a most informative session. He understood that in order for regional language press to survive they must cater to the entire diaspora as defined by the language so that it becomes cultural just like how we can develop regional language media for the entire Indian diaspora and not just for individuals from one state or region.

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