23 April 2007 ~ 1 Comment

Media guidance

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Media guidance The Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy while addressing his babus recently urged them to cultivate the habit of reading newspapers daily so that they could understand the problems of the people. “Open your eyes and read the newspapers. They give useful information, which you do not know. Solve the problems based on the news reports,” he reportedly told them. To illustrate, he cited his own example and related how he came to learn about the problem of female infanticide in a remote tribal region of the Karnataka, not from the collectorate but from newspaper reports, and acted accordingly. I am reminded of a similar situation in the classic BBC Yes, Minister television series – so popular in the Eighties – where in one episode the foreign secretary hears about a coup in a British protectorate from a ministerial colleague – because his office did not have a television set! The situation in Karnataka sounds eerily similar. If governments were to base their policies and actions on the basis of media reports, rather than their own inputs and assessments, it would spell the end of governance, as we know and understand it. Nevertheless, the example does underscore the role of media in influencing the course of governance, and my media peers can give themselves a pat on the back for doing their job well.

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