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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 10:

Senior journalist and editor of Political and Economic Weekly Paranjoy Guha Thakurta today took a jibe at mining barons in Odisha who have looted the mineral reserves to benefit themselves.

Pic Courtesy: http://foundation.moneylife.in/
Pic Courtesy: http://foundation.moneylife.in/

While speaking during the first edition of ‘Odisha Nirman Conclave-2016’ Paranjoy said: “Odisha has abundance of mineral resources. The land of Odisha is so rich but the question you have to ask why the people here are so poor. Coal, bauxite, iron ore and other minerals are mined here. The benefits are not reaching the common people. It is the role of the media to point it out. Otherwise, we will not be able to progress.”

Media, which is sometimes called the fourth estate, has a very important role to play in the development of any society. If you believe in democracy then you have to admit that it has an important role to play, he said.

The role of a journalist is not like a stenograph. He said… she said. The role of a journalist is to look at those who are in positions or power and authority with a critical eye… otherwise the media will not be fulfilling its role in holding accountable those who are in positions or power, he added.

There has been pressure not only from advertisers but also from government, especially before elections and even otherwise. Government is a big advertiser and they put out full page advertisements. So there has been pressure from political leaders not to publish unpleasant truth, the Delhi-based political commentator expressed.

After 2008 recession, the advertising revenues are shrinking affecting the business model. Moreover, after the advent of internet, he observed.

Commenting on the changing trends of news presentation, Thakurta said that media houses are spicing the news with sensationalism to retain their viewers.

Spice of sex and crime are being incorporated into news stories to make it interesting. This is what is happening around the world, also in India. The viewers have to be aware and conscious, he said.