Uday Shankar’s is the Chairman, FICCI Media & Entertainment Committee, and CEO of Star India. At the FICCI Frames 2014 Uday Shankar gave the most fierce and honest assessment of India’s media industry, it’s relation with policy actors and the governments of the day.Frames is a global convention, a forum to discuss the fraternity of Media and Entertainment like Films, Broadcast (TV & Radio), Digital Entertainment, Animation, Gaming, Visual Effects, etc. Here are a few highlights of Uday Shankar’s speech at FICCI Frames 2014.
“Amidst an environment of gloom and doom, the media and entertainment industry registered an impressive growth of 12% last year. The fact that we have been able to deliver this in light of an overall economic growth of 4% and a major resetting of exchange rates is a testament to the tenacity of the industry’s leaders and stakeholders.”
“But, this is not a sector whose value is measured just by the size of its financial contribution. Media and entertainment remains central to defining the direction of India’s social and economic path; its work remains key to the imagination and inspiration of a billion Indians every day; and its health will be central to the ethos and values of the society we collectively shape.”
“Too often, the news media has focused on what is sensational rather than what is important. Too often, the point of news seems to be to reduce the extraordinary diversity of the country to the most banal, a contest between extremes that can only be resolved through a shouting match on live television. With singular dominant narratives, the trend seems to be of creating heroes on a particular day only to be labelled as thugs and crooks the next.”
“Instead, it is now a broken relationship, and one that has dire consequences for both the industry as well as the government. The failure to establish credibility and importance has meant the industry perennially stays on a back foot, defending itself against every new wave of regulation aimed only at further curtailing its wings. In return, the government has not been able to leverage either the impact that mass media can have in India or harness the power of media as an economic engine that can create jobs and wealth.”
“It is therefore appropriate that the weeks before the elections is the right time to call for a new contract between the government and the media. One that reaffirms both stakeholders to the theme of this year’s FICCI Frames: Transforming Lives.”
“the next government should recognize that it matterswhat the agenda of the Information and BroadcastingMinistry is. It matters what the Ministry sees as its dominant priority. Do you see media as a tool for transforming lives thereby using it in the interest of serving the population or as something so powerful that it needs to be controlled? The regulatory agenda is one of the most crucial parameters that will shape how this industry will look like in the next 5, 10 and 15 years, and after some progress in the last few years, this agenda has now completely stalled.”