One Big Idea by Ranjona Banerji: Time to reclaim lost territory

22 Apr,2013

Ranjona Banerji

 

The media – print and television – is under greater public scrutiny than ever before. And thanks to the internet, there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Every person with a smart phone thinks that he or she has all the skills to become a journalist, the way all bloggers believe that they are writers.

 

The only way forward for the print media is to reclaim lost territory. No point going as far back as to the ivory towers but at least to disconnect from television news and win back some credibility. It’s going to be a long haul because once doubts creep into a relationship – well, you know that it’s not always a happy ending.

 

The media has reached a kind of Abraham Lincoln point – where it can’t fool all of the people all of the time. So the intelligent thing (yes, am going out on a limb here) might be to cut back on all those clever little fool-the-reader devices like “promotional feature” without mentioning that it’s the same as an advertisement and those nifty private deals with corporates which ensure editorial that’s, well, you know…

 

As far as the English media is concerned I know there are many people who want to jump back on to the grammar bus but I give you a mixed metaphor here: that ship has sailed. Instead, a little more leg work, a little less PR-dependency and you might get readers more worthwhile stories.

 

The best thing about 2013 though would be a few more old-style editors. You know, the type that didn’t let PR and marketing people even enter the newsroom. Ah well, a girl can dream…

 

— The writer is a senior journalist and commentator. She is also Contributing Editor, MxMIndia

 

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