29 Dec 2015 15:51 IST

Time for print media to strike back: Jaitley

‘Carrying news without mixing opinion holds the key’

Print media would do well to clearly distinguish between ‘news’ and ‘opinion’ and leverage on the current opportunity to be a purveyor of news without mixing opinion in it.

This was stated by the Information & Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley after releasing the 59th annual report on print media, Press in India, in New Delhi on December 29.

Such an approach would help the print media effectively face the challenges thrown up by proliferation of television channels and increased Internet penetration, Jaitley said.

Jaitley drew attention to the current trend in print media of mixing opinion with news. This often left readers wondering as to what exactly was the truth behind the published matter given that different publications tend to bring their own slant into their news reporting, he said.

He highlighted that the dividing line between news and opinion was falling and this needed to be addressed.

Jaitley felt that print media needed to keep opinion only to the opinion pages of the newspapers.

PRINT GROWTH

The 59th annual report showed that daily newspapers' registration grew 8.16 per cent in 2014-15.

Jaitley highlighted that large part of this growth could be attributed to regional newspapers.

Although print media circulation had stagnated around the world, India was an exception, Jaitley said.

It is noteworthy that print media is showing growth in India and such a trend needs to be maintained in the interest of the Indian democracy, Jaitley said.

SM Khan, Press Registrar, Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) said that 2014-15 saw near 6 per cent increase in the number of registered publications.

He also said that RNI was taking several steps to simplify the registration process and would over the next couple of years introduce complete online process for this purpose.

Khan however expressed concern that only about a quarter of the publications registered are filing annual statements with RNI.

India has over 105,000 publications registered with RNI.

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