Dear Santa. Please make these wishes for the Indian media come true…

24 Dec,2013

 

This Christmas, we present 13 wishes which if granted could help make our world of media a better place to be in

 

Get the spends up, Santa

New channel launches, new programming, new editions of magazines and newspapers may give an indicator that all’s hunky dory in the world of media, but did you see how thin the edition of your No 1 paper was yesterday? Adspends are low, celebrations are low key and turkey this Xmas has an all-new meaning. Dear Santa, do something for the economy.

 

May we have a Clean election

There’s going to be loads of political action in the coming months, and we want Santa to ensure the media is vigilant and doesn’t play favourites by way of paid news.

 

More entertaining GECs, please

There are GECs and GECs and GECs, but how many truly differentiated programmes do we have? The public is sure to lap up the hat ke content, though in some cases viewership numbers may not necessarily be very high. What we need from Santa is some top quality entertainment from the general entertainment channels.

 

And better News TV too!

You surely don’t want us to write much about the quality of News Television in our country. While it’s good to see some channels concentrate a fair deal on content, a lot of what we see on the tube is mediocre fare. For news channels to be treated seriously, it’s vital, Santa, that you make them understand the importance of concentrating on content quality.

 

Industry bodies must sit together

We don’t want another stand-off between the IBF, the ISA and the AAAI. It’s important that the representatives from the three associations sit together often enough to ease the differences. The IBF must include news channels and the pure play regional and niche channelwallahs in the discussions. Okay, Santa?

 

Government, leave the media alone!

Santa, can you please ask the information and broadcasting minister to see reason and let Doordarshan and AIR be? There’s a team of good professionals out there and they can make Doordarshan and All India Radio better than the private players. The minister will win more accolades he’s currently getting if he stops interfering with the working of DD and AIR. Give mantriji a chillpill, Santa!

 

Bring back the lost glory to the Abby!

It’s strange. You can get the governments of India and Pakistan to sit together and find solutions to serious problems, but our industry can’t find a solution to the problem of the Creative Abby. Now, Santa, you are the only one who can find a solution and give us an Abby that will see participation from all? A futile ask, did someone say? Perhaps, but it would be good to see the creative awards be truly representative.

 

And also, the scam ads and plagiarism

Also, when you are at it, Santa, let’s also put an end to the controversies of last year. Let there be no scam ads and let there be a propah category for unpublished work. As for plagiarism, there should be enough deterrants in the system, and the shortlisted entries must be available for public scrutiny well before the final voting.

 

Paid news of the other kind

This is not the elections-related paid news. It’s about the other kind of parties, launches and brands. It’s possibly an industry of a few hundred crores: this practice of content published in consideration of monies without being identified as such. Santa, please make the media-owners see reason, and if they don’t, get the government to strip the media entities of the licence (broadcast, Registrar of Newspapers).

 

Better Talent needed

If media companies have to generate better business and offer more value, quality talent is critical. Unfortunately, many of our media companies find top talent unaffordable to hire. Consequently, the impact is on the deliveries. Santa, it’s critical that there is some attention paid to hiring good talent so that we can see better work done.

 

Emphasis on education

The quality of education imparted at most of our media schools is below par. Realising this, many media organizations have set up their own schools and training procedure. But that’s not the solution. We need some really quality media education facilities in the country, and for this, Santa, we must have industrypersons involved,,,

 

Corruption everywhere!

There is corruption everywhere in the media. And not just in government. In the private sector too. There is much corruption in journalism too… Decisions are taken on the basis of considerations that go beyond merit. Yes, there are many who are aboveboard, clean and ethical, but, Santa, you need to do something to cleanse the system. Sadly, the unethical proliferate and prosper.

 

Digital is the future!

The digital media could get India on a level playing field with the rest of the world. There’s a fair amount of talent out there, but not enough is being done in digital. It’s more of lip-service. In order to do well in the future, it’s critical to embrace the medium.

 

 

On Thursday: Part 2 of our Year of Shame summary

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