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`Media must play active role in shaping society'

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Mr Tarun J. Tejpal, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher, Tehelka.com, Mr D.N. Mukherjea, Deputy Editor, Business World, Mr N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, and Ms Sanjana Kapoor, Director, Prithvi Theatre, at theYoung Indians Summit in Bangalore on Saturday. K. Bhagya Prakash
Mr Tarun J. Tejpal, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher, Tehelka.com, Mr D.N. Mukherjea, Deputy Editor, Business World, Mr N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, and Ms Sanjana Kapoor, Director, Prithvi Theatre, at theYoung Indians Summit in Bangalore on Saturday. K. Bhagya Prakash

Our Bureau

Bangalore, Feb. 26

INDIAN journalism is at a crucial phase when it needs to assert the primacy of editorial content and keep a check on the use of power and money. Voicing this opinion at a session on `Media: Shaping minds for a better India' at the CII Young Indians Summit here today, the country's media personalities spoke on the challenges faced by the industry and its role in shaping young minds of the country.

Mr N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, said that serious journalism should be motivated by certain principles such as truth-telling, freedom and independence, justice, humaneness and working for social good. "Systematic analysis also reveals that journalism has several roles to play: credible information function, critical investigation function, education function and an agenda building function," he said.

He emphasised that the media could impact society by drawing up an education programme in the country to ensure that "every child between the ages of 6 and 16 will be in school."

Mr Tarun J. Tejpal, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Tehelka.com, said that it had never slipped from its high moral ground and it was time to reassert that. He also felt that this was the worst time for Indian media because the "powers will embarrass us for what we are and attempt to force us to do things that we don't want to do." He reiterated the importance of the notion of social contract that the freedom fighters stood for.

Ms Sanjana Kapoor, Director, Prithvi Theatre, expressed the fear of getting into a "branding exercise" for her theatre company. "Theatre is all about reaching out to people and not about selling something to others." Mr Ashish Bhasin, Director, Director, Lintas India, spoke of the social responsibility of advertising and the positive influence that role models have on society.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 27, 2005)
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