Journalism in India is in crisis: senior journalist Pankaj Pachauri


Chandigarh: Senior journalist Pankaj Pachauri said that journalism in India is in a state of crisis, with the wall between marketing and editorial crumbling by the day, and those associated with marketing taking over as editors. He was speaking at the Chandigarh Press Club on Saturday.

Pankaj Pachauri speaking at the Chandigarh Press Club on Saturday.

Pachauri, a former TV anchor with NDTV and media adviser to former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, said that the future of journalism lies in internet because it is affordable, and at the same time, print circulation will go down but not vanish completely. Pachauri was speaking at the inaugural special lecture at the Chandigarh Press Club organised by the club o Saturday. He spoke on contemporary issues and challenges before the media and the situation of traditional media amid growth of new media.

Pachauri, who now runs a digital news channel ‘Go News’, said, “We are in a serious crisis because in a democracy as vast as complex as India’s, media is losing its strength. Agriculture, employment, education and environment form just one percent of the news content. The rest is politics, sports, crime and entertainment.”

“Television channels these days are merely chasing ratings and audience,” Pachauri said. “I resent the disappointing portrayal of journalists in recent Bollywood films. Media is not be laughed at but to contribute to the society.”

He pointed out that Indian media channels, who are supposed to tell the truth about the people in power, are actually busy catching eyeballs by inviting the same people to their countless award functions.

Pachauri even pointed out that multi-national corporations actually grow their market value through their large user-base in India, and have no concern with the meagre revenue generated from the country whatsoever.

He exhorted journalists to write ‘compelling stories’ to connect with people.

Drawing a comparison between US and Indian media, Pachauri said, “Whoever pays the piper gets to dictate the tune (here in India). Sales (print) are stagnating in all media, but profits are going up because money is not being spent much on news gathering. Media channel owners will have to decide whether they are here to make business or for giving news to people.”


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