Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani today said that time has come to put laws, ethics and rules into place which will help in balancing the media industry so that one dominant player cannot rule the roost. Inaugurating the 15th Asia Media Summit (AMS) 2018 here today, she said that India will have around 969 million internet users by 2021 and Indian media industry looks upon the digital world not only as a challenge but also as an opportunity. How do we attract, retain and develop talent which frees good content from the trappings of revenue needs and brings about a balance in media institutions, the Minister further asked. This is the first time that Asian Media Summit is being held in India.
The 15th Asia Media Summit is being hosted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, jointly with the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi and Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), from 10th -12th May, 2018 in New Delhi. The theme of this year’s Summit is ‘Telling Our Stories – Asia and More’, which would encourage regional and bilateral dialogue and cooperation to respond to challenges to the broadcasting sector in the region.
Giving a perspective of the expanding Indian media industry, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani said, “India is the fastest growing advertising market expected to touch 10.59 billion US Dollars by the end of 2018 and the mobile spend is estimated to grow to 1.55 billion US Dollars in the year 2018. We have a vibrant media industry which has a direct established impact of Rs 1.35 lakh crore and indirect and induced benefits of Rs 4.5 lakh crore, with close to 4 million people associated with it.”
The Minster expressed hope that the Asia Media Summit will throw up new ideas so that we can look at pathways to strengthen media institutions for a better mankind.
Addressing the inaugural session, Minister of Information from Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. Hasanul Haq Inu, outlined six complex challenges the world faces today, namely – poverty, gender disparity, terrorism, ICT revolution, climate change and uneven globalization. Expressing concern at cybercrimes, he stressed upon the need to fight a war against cybercriminals to keep the media safe and expanding.
Minister of Information from Cambodia, H.E. Dr. Khieu Kanharith, said that, “We are trying to improve the state of the press in Cambodia, we seek to maintain strong relationships with the fourth estate.”
Shigeru Aoyagi, Director, UNESCO, New Delhi Office talked about the role of media in creating peace and partnership on the planet. Quoting from the UNESCO constitution – ‘Since the war is created in the minds of men, we have to build peace in the minds of men’, Aoyagi called upon the media to tell stories responsibly and in a very constructive way.
Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General, UN spoke via a video message and asked to bridge digital divide in the world so that everyone in the community is able to participate meaningfully. She also highlighted media’s role in building a sustainable planet.
Vineet Jain, MD, Times Group discussed regulatory reforms for a fair market place that benefits consumers. Talking about data protection, he said that data is being siphoned by global platforms today and we must proactively protect our national interest by ensuring that data stays within India and that it is protected. In his welcome address, Sitanshu Kar, DG, PIB talked of India’s strong traditions of storytelling in its 23 major languages and around 720 dialects. He said that due to emerging technologies, we are at the cusp of revolutionary shifts in the way we think and how we tell our stories.