Analytical press that gives a well-researched roundup on current affairs on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis is far superior than ‘breaking news’ mainstream and viral social media, said Arun Jain, chairman, Polaris Financial Technology (PFT), a mid-tier IT company.
Speaking at the Polestar Business Journalism Award function, he said, “Be it business or non-business journalism, analytical media, such as weekly and monthly magazines stand out for providing deep and thorough analyses of current happenings when compared with the urge of instant gratification of social and mainstream media including television and the daily newspaper. However, all three media are essential as they cater to the needs of their confined consumer groups.”
Saying that mainstream media still has a decisive role to play, he called for broadbasing the coverage focus with a sense of inclusivity on issues and people who largely remain outside the news radar. “Our villages are witnessing a phenomenal level of social engineering. The mainstream media should pan its camera on the transformation happening in the remote and less known corners of the country, which could attract serious attention towards the opportunities in those places,” he said.
Jain also said the sentiment of cynicism and over-criticism by the media was not good for society as it shapes the perception and attitude of the common public. The press must muster the courage to invest and innovate. It can influence the thinking process, such as educate people on how to create companies like Apple, Facebook and Microsoft rather than remain just an end-user of their products and services.
The Prime Minister's Economic Advisor Council (PMEAC) chairman C Rangarajan in his address underlined the importance of business journalism in spreading economic and financial literacy following economic liberalisation in 1991. Rangarajan said that though television steals the focus from print on instant news, but print alone could elaborate and expound. As for editorial judgment on burning topics, Rangarajan said that facts are sacred, but journalism is not just based on facts—information and interpretation also count.