The official photograph of the Defence Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley.
The official photograph of the Defence Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley.

New Delhi : Asserting that debates on television often do not have connect with ground reality, Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that not every controversy was news in itself and lamented the “scarcity” of credible and serious news on channels.

Jaitley also noted that the English media which has managed to capture the mind space to a large extent will not be sustainable and took dig at them saying if we went by English media alone, then even Gandhiji would not have found acceptability in the country, reports PTI.

“Sometimes while you watch news in the evening and there are couple of issues on which are being discussed; it seems that is the only thing happening in the country. And many times the reality has no connection with that thing,” Jaitley said at an event here, adding “Not every controversy is news in itself”. He also maintained that because of the nature of TV news, newspapers also have had to change themselves, in an apparent reference to TV setting the agenda for print media.

Observing that with the advent of digital media, the situation was changing, Jaitley said a good idea or blog on new media circulates widely and becomes a topic of discussion.

“Perhaps the over saturation of Television news, and often it not having connect with what is happening on the ground, the readers or target audience, at times search for news as it was conventionally defined.           “Now, it is not natural that there are 20-25 people in the country, who show up on TV every evening and they have views on every issue,” Jaitley said. He added that there must be others, who also have views, adding that it is why a large mass was looking for serious news and analysis which was “scarce”. “Sometimes, digital media provides it. I think in this situation, it’s a great opportunity for serious print media to fight back,” Jaitley said.

The minister,  who was speaking at the launch of a fortnightly ‘Opinion Post’, said many newspapers have closed across the world but have their net editions and there was no problem in that.       And a time will come, when again, on the basis of credibility and seriousness of the writer, people will form their opinions, he emphasised.

Jaitley also said while English media had managed to capture mind space to quite an extent, the market place has been there with Hindi and regional languages. This disparity between mind space and market space cannot sustain for too long, he said.

“In forming public opinion, the people who write or speak in that market space…if we only went by the English media, then even Gandhiji would not have found acceptability in the country. That is why the serious writing in market space becomes even more important,” he said.

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