Media not forming public opinion but merely reflecting market sentiments: Elayidom

Media not forming public opinion but merely reflecting market sentiments: Elayidom

Media is merely reflecting market sentiments these days and not trying to form a critical public opinion on socio-political issues, academic and orator Sunil P. Elayidom has said.

He was delivering a lecture on ‘Democracy and the media’ organised by the N. Rajesh Memorial Charitable Trust here on Saturday.

Mr. Elayidom said media was fast losing its independence in the country because the revenue model for its functioning was based on the income generated from advertisements. Because of this, the capitalist interests of those who place the advertisements were getting prominence in news. Though there were tens of thousands of media organisations in India, four or five outlets were controlling the market.

“There is no pluralism, and different voices are not being heard. Another visible trend is the convergence of content makers and distributors. Marketing managers and circulation managers are taking final decisions on the presentation or publication of news stories,” he pointed out. Thus, the media is losing its power to critically analyse issues concerning the people, he said.

“The media’s functioning is supposed to based on information, interpretation, and criticism. However, it has been changed to information, controversy, and entertainment. There is a curious mix of information and entertainment, titled ‘infotainment’ as well,” Mr. Elayidom said.

“We have news debates on TV channels these days. But actually they are not debates, but just heated arguments where people try to score over others. There are no efforts to inform, learn, or expand the horizons of knowledge,” he claimed.

The event was held to mark the second death anniversary of Rajesh, a former News Editor with Madhyamam daily. Firos Khan and Kamal Varadoor, functionaries of the Trust, were present, among others.