INTERACTION WITH THE MEMBERS OF THE PRESS TRUST OF INDIA BOARD, NEW DELHI
23-06-2007 : New Delhi
Media, a partner in Development
I am delighted to meet and interact with the members of the Press Trust of India Board who come from various disciplines such as media, publishing, science, law and judiciary and provide guidance in all the activities of PTI. While I am with you, I was asking what topic I should share with you? For the mission of Developed India by 2020, the role of media and the role of PTI is very important as a partner and hence I have chosen the topic "Media, a partner in Development".
Distinctive Profile of India - 2020
Let me first start with my visualization of the distinctive profile of India by the year 2020.
1. A Nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line.
2. A Nation where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water.
3. A Nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony.
4. A Nation where education with value system is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination.
5. A Nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists, and investors.
6. A Nation where the best of health care is available to all.
7. A Nation where the governance is responsive, transparent and corruption free.
8. A Nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed and crimes against women and children are absent and none in the society feels alienated.
9. A Nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path.
10. A Nation that is one of the best places to live in and is proud of its leadership.
With the aim of realizing the goals of development India by 2020, it is important for PTI board to establish criteria of reporting developmental progress in the country particularly in the rural areas. One Important factor will be to make the news interesting to the reader easily understandable so that they can replicate certain development features in their own areas. Factual reporting will also enable timely preventive action against untoward incidents.
Media for Rural Events
India with its 70% of population living in the 600 thousand villages spread across the length and breadth of the country, Media has to be sensitive in reporting the progress and problems relating to rural areas. Media has to continuously monitor and report progress periodically to assess the efficacy of our system in reducing the people living below poverty line, which is estimated to be 220 million now.
Media for a billion people
Media can propagate national successes particularly those emanating from rural areas which will act as a great motivator and will also help in spreading the islands of successes to similarly placed regions in the country. A successful implementation of increasing the productivity of ducks through use of scientific breeding under the leadership of self-help groups in Assam, increasing the per capita yield per hectare of wheat and paddy crops through a technology intervention in Bihar are two examples of such success. Of course, vigilant reporting based on researched information, apart from enabling faster development will lead to promotion of equity and justice. When atrocities, problems or mis-governance are reported, efforts also may be made in larger public interest to provide positive direction for improvement. I would suggest PTI Board to encourage journalists to report events pertaining to North Eastern States, events in islands such as Andaman Nicobar, events in villages in hilly and forest areas in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh & Jammu & Kashmir. With your powerful vision you will be a great partner in National Development which aims to bring smiles in the faces of billion people of India.
PTI Reporting and Language
Many of the members of media meeting me have told about the accuracy, reliability and timeliness of information provided by PTI. Now with the enhanced readership due to increased literacy, particularly in regional languages, I would recommend PTI to provide the news in multiple Indian languages apart from Hindi and English which they are providing now. PTI should also make use of the latest technology available and provide video news in addition to the text provided to various media agencies. Since the forum consists of large number of media leaders, I would suggest all of you to collectively formulate a vision for PTI that would contribute to the faster realization of developed India before 2020.
Friends, I would like to share with you a healthy practice being evolved and followed by a newspaper which is published all over the country. They have appointed a consultant exclusively for maintaining the standard of the newspaper reporting and nurture the name of the paper, thereby ensuring that all the guidelines are adhered to by the reporters. There is a constant review of the quality of reporting and improvement in the guidelines. I am sure PTI and other media organizations all over the country also must be having mechanism to continuously improve the quality of news and consistency of news reporting.
My greetings to all of you.
May God Bless you.
Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam