Media is important pillar of democracy: Arjun Singh

By IANS, New Delhi : Media is an important pillar of democracy and a key institution to mobilise public opinion, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh said here Tuesday.

“It is always interesting to study how media reports and interprets political events and issues and how media itself influences the political processes and shapes public opinion,” the minister told a seminar on the role of media.

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Arjun Singh said the face of Indian media had been fast changing on account of Internet, the phenomenal rise of satellite and cable networks, the continuing growth of regional press and blurring of lines between news and entertainment.

“This has obviously led to technological and commercial pressures and changes in the professional practices of the media sector,” he said adding it was important for small and medium newspapers to occupy a special place for itself.

He said people in rural areas do not have access to Internet and satellite and cable television and that information requirement is met either by state-run television, radio or newspapers.

The minister said he was aware of the issues impinging on the growth of small and medium newspapers such as small scale of production and lack of resources for continuous technological improvements in its production process.

“Small newspapers, because of their inherent disability to circulate in huge numbers and their localized nature, fail to attract commercial advertisements, adversely affecting the quality of news gathering,” he said.

“The managers of small and medium papers would need to continuously find ways and means to sustain themselves and yet be an important source of information to their targeted population.”