Prime Time Private News Shows Are Like WWF Matches: Prakash
NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati chairperson A Surya Prakash today claimed that private news channels were treating news as "entertainment" and their prime time shows resembled WWF wrestling matches as he asked viewers to demand responsibility from media organisations.
Speaking strongly against any government role in regulation of media, the Prasar Bharati chairman suggested that people should form groups as "media watchers" to create "citizenry pressure" so that there can be a better media.
Speaking on the topic 'Media in India' at the National Convocation of International Goodwill Society of India, Prakash said the public broadcaster has three important functions - to inform, educate and entertain, in the said order.
"We can not entertain first and inform later," Prakash said accusing private channels of treating news, not as news, but as entertainment.
"So what is happening during 8.30 pm to 11 pm prime timeband? There is no news, only noise. What is the competition (between channels)- shrill, shriller, shrillest. 'Kaun jyada chilla sakta hai' (Who can shout the loudest). It has become like WWF wrestling match," Prakash said.
Calling private citizens as "Mi-Baap (Godfather) of not only media but entire democracy," Prakash said they must demand balance, responsibility and truth from all institutions.
"Why do you make an exception for media?...Actually the citizens must become far more demanding and alert. You pay Rs 300-400 for cable connection, you must demand responsible media. If you find a media house irresponsible you must tick him off," Prakash said.
"You must form groups or associations of people who are media watchers. That is how you can have better media," he added.
Prakash said that "tailored news, lack of objectivity and paid news" have been there in media and advocated self regulation.
"I am of the view that regulation must be self regulation for media...It should not come from the government. There should be no governmental regulation of media," the Prasar Bharati chairman said.
Speaking about DD News, Prakash said that people often asked him how it was different from other news channels. "I say if you want news watch DD News if you want noise go to private channels," he said.