The print media needs to be more credible to survive the Herculean challenges it is facing now, particularly from the social media, a renowned Indian journalist and author has said.
Saeed Naqvi, a versatile and veteran writer, who was in Qatar on a short visit, said it was not only the arrival of digital technology that can be blamed for the decline of the print media but the fall in the standards of journalism practised across the spectrum.
“In my journalistic life spanning more than five decades I have been a witness to many a change in the functioning of media across the world and the transformations witnessing these days point to just another inevitable phase.
“It is somewhat a natural process that people look at available alternatives when mainstream newspapers and others show a decline in their credibility with biased coverage and sometimes even with paid news,” he told Gulf Times in an interview.
“The credibility of the media is at stake across the world and it is not limited to a few countries. Each country is facing more or less the same issue but at different levels and magnitudes.”
As a journalist, the phenomenal Indian author has carved a niche for himself by serving in some of the reputable newspapers, television channels and global news agencies in different capacities in the US, the UK and India. He had interviewed such legendary figures as Fidel Castro, Nelson Mandela and Saddam Hussain, among others.
Naqvi, who is a celebrated author and one of the best political commentators, said: “A decade ago, when I made a forecast about radio returning to play a prominent role in our day-to-day life my words had not many takers. Now many of those who disowned my prediction have turned out to be ardent advocates of radio.’’ He recalled the strides radio has made in India and other countries during the last 15 years. The advantage with radio is that it is less expensive to set up a broadcasting centre compared to the costs involved in establishing a TV station, he said. “In television reporting the word follows an image, whereas such things do not affect radio journalism,’’ he said adding that live interviews could be had with anyone anywhere on radio, without having the broadcaster to incur a heavy cost.
Naqvi, who has travelled to more than 110 countries, was in Qatar on an invitation from the Qatar Media Corporation. He said he is literally amazed at the developments Qatar has witnessed in about a decade since he last visited Doha.
He said he was delighted to see the changing landscape and skyline of the country and also at the array of things made in Qatar, including high quality consumable items. “The ongoing embargo, it seems, has brought the best out of Qatar and the country is expected to grow further.”
He also had a word of praise for Qatar Airways which he said is one of the best airlines he has ever travelled in.
The septuagenarian author also said he was glad to learn about the many success stories of Indian nationals living in this country. “I am also happy that many such successful entrepreneurs and professionals are contributing considerably to the development of their homeland and the country of their residence.”
An ardent advocate of pluralist societies, Naqvi said it seems the word is missing its meaning in different societies all over the world. One of his recent books “Being the Other: The Muslim in India” has been widely appreciated for its lucid thought and scholarly analysis. “Why people are not refusing to listen and accept the thoughts and perceptions of others?,’’ he wonders.
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