National symposium on Gujarat Carnage and Media; A Report

IN Media Practice | 26/08/2002
National symposium on Gujarat Carnage and Media; A Report

National symposium on Gujarat Carnage and Media; A Report

Bangalore is fast becoming center for media discourse.  Two seminars were held on media and Gujarat tragedy within a span of two months.

     National symposium on Gujarat Carnage and Media; A Report

 

                                                        Prof.B.A.SRIDHARA

 

Bangalore is fast becoming center for media discourse.  Two seminars were held on media and Gujarat tragedy within a span of two months.   The first one was organized jointly by The Network of Women in Media, Bangalore, Department of Information, Government of Karnataka and National Law School in June.  The second seminar was held on August 10th.  The theme was ‘Gujarat Carnage and Media’; organized by The Karnataka NRI’s and Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi.

 

Unfortunately, this seminar was also inaugurated by a politician who was not well received by most of the participants.  The symposium was inaugurated by former Prime Minister H.D.Deve Gowda, who came one and half hours late and made political speech for 45 minutes eating into crowded program.  Justice A.M.Ahemadi, former Chief Justice of India presided. 

 

There were four sessions and all the sessions were interesting.  The first session was on ‘Violence in Gujarat and the role of regional media’, the second was on ‘Violence in Gujarat and the mainstream media’, the third session was on  ‘Spread of communalism’ and the fourth one was on ‘Media role in Gujarat crisis; realistic or exaggerated?’

 

Except for Deve Gowda and Justice Ahemadi the panel of speakers read like who is who of Indian journalism.  Kuldip Nayyar, Dileep Padgaonkar, Ajit Bhattacharjea, Prabash Joshi, Teesta Setlvad, Digant Oza, Prakash N.Shah were there.  The Urdu press was well represented by Parwaaz Rahmani, Chief Editor, Dawaat, Delhi, S.B.Tirmizhi, Publisher, Gujarat Today,  Aziz Burney, Joint Editor, Rashtriya Sahara.

 

Some presentations sounded rhetoric and political.  They focused heavily on communal conflict and Hindu fundamentalism.  However, it was understandable when one looks at the enormity of the damage done in Gujarat in the name of religion. 

 

The speakers who confined to role of media during Gujarat crisis did a splendid job.

 

Dileep Padgaonkar who was on the member team of Editors Guild of India, which visited Gujarat, explained the role of pamphlets and local cable networks, which used video technology for spreading news and rumor which were provocative.  He elaborated the role played by new technology of SMS and Internet.  He observed that these new communication technologies could play havoc in a situation like Gujarat.  In his view, this calls for serious discussion on the role of alternative media and new communication and information technology at the time of communal strife.  

 

He narrated the experience of Guild members while questioning two Gujarati newspapers, Sandesh and Gujarat Samachar that had earned notoriety during the Gujarat carnage.   According to him, the management of Sandesh  was more aggressive and unrelenting. 

 

Mr.Padgaonkar had all appreciation for the electronic media, which telecast communal violence live for the first time.  However, he was apprehensive about the effect of the coverage; whether such live coverage with visuals contributed in containing the riot or encouraged different groups to indulge in senseless retaliations.    It calls for detailed inquiry.

Subscribe To The Newsletter

Doordarshan interviewed  two BJP ministers in the afternoon about what they thought of Rahul Gandhi's speech during the no-trust motion, and why BJP MPs had felt the need to come outside Parliament and attack him. Ministers of state Ashwini Chaubey and Ram Kirpal Yadav answered at considerable length and were allowed to have their say. The reporter also asked one of them what he thought about RG's hugging the PM and he effectively snorted in disapproval. When a panel discussion began after this,  more leading questions from the news anchor about this 'jadu ki jhappi."  And more criticism followed.                        

Moneycontrol.com  says that  HT Media has reported a drop of 86 percent in its net profit for the June quarter to Rs 5.8 crore against Rs 41.5 crore reported by the firm during the same quarter of last year.  In May this year however  HT Media had reported over a two-fold increase in consolidated net profit  over the previous quarter, according to TOI.                     

View More
Announcement