New Delhi: Shekhar Gupta, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of ThePrint, Friday spoke about the surprises that came with being a journalist, the new rules of international diplomacy and the crisis of broadcast media, at the second edition of Democracy Wall’s second season.
“Too many media channels have become like entertainment channels, TV news is going through a crisis,” said Gupta. He also said people watch TV for entertainment these days, instead of gaining new information.
ThePrint’s Democracy Wall is a free-speech campus initiative, and its latest edition was held at Amity University, Mumbai. Rapper Slowcheeta, Shiv Sena deputy leader Priyanka Chaturvedi, actor Tisca Chopra, comedian Srijan Kaushik, and co-founder and executive director of IIFL Wealth & Asset Management Yatin Shah were also a part of the event.
On ‘media crisis’
On Indian media’s coverage of Article 370 revocation, Gupta said, “There is a communication blackout to the extent that internet and mobiles are not working. I won’t say that Indian media is not covering it, you just have to watch the right channel.”
He compared Indian media’s coverage to the international media and explained that the latter is also represented by the Indians working for them.
Gupta talked about how the “government is becoming autocratic with the media”.
He advised the students present to “read sensible media and to not get influenced by ‘commando comic channels’”.
Asked to share his experience of being a journalist, he said journalism “brings you its own challenges” and one “gets surprises everyday”.
“Don’t come to journalism for Yatin Shah kind of salary,” he said, but also added that “everything comes with a package today, salaries in journalism are much higher now”.
Asked to share his thoughts on mob lynchings and the plight of minorities, Gupta acknowledged the problems faced by the country and said, “Democracy has an immune system [and] there are many challenges but correctives come from within the democracy.”
On Prime Minister Modi’s endorsement of US President Donald Trump at the Howdy, Modi! event in Texas, he said, “The world is run by alpha males like Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Shinzo Abe, Xi Jinping and others, and they don’t follow conventional rules of diplomacy.”