Anurag Thakur inaugurates 47th Annual Gathering of AIBD

Anurag Thakur inaugurates 47th Annual Gathering of AIBD

On September 20, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur inaugurated the 47th Annual Gathering and 20th Meeting of 'Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development' (AIBD) in presence of Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Dr L Murugan, Secretary, I&B Apurva Chandra and Director of AIBD Philomena Gnanapragasam.

Speaking on the occasion, Thakur said that the biggest threat to mainstream media is not from new age digital platforms, but rather the mainstream media channel itself. He went on to say that real journalism was about facing the facts, presenting the truth and letting all sides the platform to present their views.

Inviting guests who are polarising, who spread false narratives and who shout at the top of their lungs damages the credibility of a channel, the Minister remarked.

"Your decisions regarding the guest, the tone and visuals, define your credibility in the eyes of the audience. The view may stop for a minute to watch your show, but will never trust your anchor, your channel or brand as a trusted and transparent source of news," he further added.

The Minister exhorted the broadcasters, who were present on the occasion, to not watch the narrative be defined by soundbites but redefine it yourself and set the terms for the guests and the channel.

Anurag credited the AIBD leadership during the COVID pandemic for keeping the member countries connected online and maintaining a constant dialogue on how media can mitigate the impact of the pandemic. He noted that 'member countries immensely benefitted through sharing of information on the latest developments in the medical field, positive stories of COVID warriors and more importantly, in countering fake news which was spreading faster than the pandemic'. He congratulated Philomena, President of the AIBD General Conference, Mayank Agrawal and the member countries who worked together in building a strong media response to the COVID pandemic in the Asia Pacific region.

Speaking on the theme of the event 'Building a Stronger Future for broadcasting in the post-pandemic Era', the minister remarked, "Though broadcast media is and has always been in the mainstream of journalism, the COVID-19 era has shaped its structure more strategically. The pandemic has taught us how the right and timely information can save millions of lives. It is media which brought the world on one platform during this difficult phase and reinforced the spirit of one global family."

Presenting the role of Indian media during the pandemic as a success story, he said that the media ensured that COVID-19 awareness messages, important government guidelines and free online consultations with doctors reached everyone in the nook and corner of the country. In the end, Thakur underlined that media, in all its forms, has an immense ability to shape public perceptions and perspectives as an effective tool of empowerment.

"It is imperative to create an enabling environment for our journalists and broadcasters' friends for making the space of media more vibrant and rewarding", he added.

Mayank Agarwal, in his remarks, said that AIBD continued its training and capacity-building programmes even during lockdowns. Philomena Gnanapragasam said that content is going to determine the future of media and how the content is shared and monetised will determine the future of broadcasting.

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