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A section of media has become a theatre, says Barkha Dutt

A section of media has become a theatre, says Barkha Dutt

Indian journalist discusses role of media, status of women in society

By Sadiq Shaban/sub Editor

Published: Tue 16 Jun 2015, 12:02 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:09 PM

Dubai - The primary role of media is to stay objective and tell all sides of a story, renowned Indian TV journalist Barkha Dutt told an elite gathering of Indian businessmen in Dubai. She was speaking at a breakfast event held by the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), the representative body of Indian businesses and professionals in Dubai.

“I don’t think Indian media is biased on the various political issues facing the country. Individual commentators may have their political affiliations but they exist on all sides of a political spectrum. Organisationally, I do not believe that we have a lot of bias in the media,” she told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the event.

Maintaining that her job is to report every dimension of an ongoing story, the award-winning editor added that TV audiences often expect journalists to conform to their political opinion. “If you do not exactly conform to the viewers’ point of view, you will immediately be accused of being biased. Easy labels of nationalistic and anti-national, which we often hear these days, should be avoided.”

Dutt agreed that a section of media has become a “theatre rather than journalism”. “It is a choice that we all have to make. I could never do that kind of news. Viewers have to reflect that while the media is losing its gravitas, there are those of us who remain serious and do not convert everything to a shouting match or some ideological battle. If more people are going to gravitate towards news as theatre then where does that leave serious journalism? Viewers must ultimately reflect on the content that they want to consume.”

In her brief talk on woman empowerment, Barkha argued that although there is more female representation in many Indian businesses and media houses now, one can still find fewer women in the higher management echelons. “I do see things changing in India vis-à-vis women empowerment but we still have a long way to go to plug some gaps. Compared to the West, we have fewer women in the top hierarchies of the corporate world. I would say that we still don’t do well to fit in with the global patterns,” Dutt said in response to a question. - sadiq@khaleejtimes.com   

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