Sukumar Ranganathan: Journos and media exec in a unique position

26 Oct,2011

Try as I may, I find myself unable to summon the enthusiasm inherent in the headline , so I am going to refine the topic a bit.

It is an exciting time to be in media. A combination of circumstances — increased political and business activity, and a reduction in information asymmetry thanks to regulations such as the Right to Information Act and technology — has meant a significant increase in news flow. To resort to a cliche, there’s never a dull moment and that suits most journalists very well.
Yet, it’s a challenging time as well.

To stay relevant, newsrooms have to be proficient in multiple media and editors should understand print, video, the Internet, and social media. The business case for some of these is still being written, but that doesn’t mean they can be ignored. The good news for print journalists like me trying to cope with a whole new world is that print will continue to exist, even thrive in India.

There’s also another challenge newsrooms face, one that many are just waking up to. The reduction in information asymmetry that gives them access to news they once wouldn’t have had access to, also gives readers and viewers access to information about how journalists work. Many newsrooms in India still work without a journalistic code and, over time, this will put off both readers (or viewers) and advertisers.

Given all these, work is complex, interesting, hard, stressful, and sometimes fun.
But great? I don’t really know.

It is, at once, both exciting and frightening, to be in the middle of great change of the sort that the Indian media landscape is going through.

I think I can safely say that journalists and media executives find themselves in a unique position.

 

Sukumar Ranganathan is the Editor of Mint.

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