Thakur navigates the Indian media landscape, touching the broad contours of freedom and responsibility of the press
It would be fair to say that we belong to a generation that has witnessed the greatest transformation in technology and that this advancement between the 20th and the 22nd centuries has been nothing short of a revolution. The past decade, in particular, has seen an unparalleled surge in digital technology and media.
With this, there has also been a seismic shift in the interplay between digital media and its stakeholders today. Talking about PM Modi, Anurag Thakur, Minister, Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, shares how leaders today need to be tech evangelists, more than tech savvy. For him, Modi's association with technology transcends awareness, which has eventually helped him build a more robust democracy.
"The government's efforts towards a digital India aim to bridge the digital divide, provide financial inclusion, and uplift the common man," comments Thakur. According to him, some of the initiatives that have made the best use of technology include Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, Mission Karmayogi, BHIM UPI app, DigiLocker and more.
Time For Indian Media To Introspect
In the past years, a large section of the media has proactively adopted campaigns of national interest. During COVID, especially, media personnel were on the field and kept us informed of the essentials. Thakur credits the success of their initiatives like the Swachh Bharat Mission and digital payments to the Indian media that propitiously generated awareness around them. "With the Indian democracy, our media has flourished too," he emphasises.
With all the glory, Thakur also slips a cautionary note: "Media governance is self-regulatory. But this does not mean to err and err intentionally, as it will erode credibility. Media must reflect and self-introspect to save itself from the virus of the infodemic."
Thakur then highlights the cobweb of fake and paid news. He asserts that it contributes nothing to media credibility and it contributes even less to nation-building. "Media must reoccupy the space of responsible, fair and balanced journalism. We must be cautious before accepting anything in the name of innovation or modernity," he adds.
"We must embrace artificial intelligence. We must educate our youth, especially on its potential for good, while cautioning against its misuse of deep fakes and forgery,” Thakur sums.
*The speaker was present at a recent industry forum.
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