'Need to increase diversity in online journalism'

A report authored by an associate professor of Jamia Millia Islamia and titled ‘Mapping Digital Media’ was debated at length by various experts from the legal and media fields in the city on Sunday.

Published: 28th October 2013 12:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th October 2013 03:36 PM   |  A+A-

A report authored by an associate professor of Jamia Millia Islamia and titled ‘Mapping Digital Media’ was debated at length by various experts from the legal and media fields in the city on Sunday.

The report, which states that the ‘digital divide’ in the country is not as clearly demarcated as in other countries, says that 60 per cent of all households in the country have cable and satellite television and that the public broadcaster, Doordarshan National, covers about 92 per cent of the 1,200 million plus population which includes a sizable share of the estimated 300 million people who live below the poverty line.

The discussions focused on how digital media influenced policy, law and regulations, journalism and activism in the country. Lawrence Liang of the Alternative Law Forum said that while India had a good history of enabling free speech, it fared badly in understanding questions of ownership and control of infrastructure.

Arun Venkatraman of CG-Net Swara, an online voice-based news portal, said, “With large parts of India having no access to telecom services, there is a need to look at de-licensed technology like Citizen Band Radio.”

Meera K from Citizens Matters, an online news portal, said that while the percentage of Indian’s online remains small, in terms of absolute numbers, they still amounted to 50 million. “Regional language websites and ‘alternative blogs’ represent a vibrant online community. They are. However, faced with challenges of financial sustainability,” she said while pushing for an increase in ‘middle class activism’ with the use of digital tools.

Freelance journalist Geeta Sheshu cautioned against the rising number of bloggers who promoted products through their writing.

“Unlike paid news, there is almost no attention being given to this phenomenon. News websites also tend to mirror traditional media with problems of centralised news production and decreased investment in news gathering,” she said.

Subhash Rai, Associate Editor, newindianexpress.com, pushed for diversifying the social composition of online journalists in order to increase diversity.

“High costs of infrastructure and content management systems will remain a challenge to many news websites and organisations in their transit to digital media,” he said. The report is available online at http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/reports/mapping-digital-media-india.

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp