Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Smt Smriti Zubin Irani addressed the 69th Valedictory session of Development Journalism Course today at Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. During the occasion, the Minister announced a scholarship for Rs.25000/- in commemoration of Deen Dayal Upadhyay for people of Indian Origin who did exemplary work in development journalism.She also awarded certificates to 25 development journalism students from 16 countries. On this occasion she also inaugurated National Media Faculty Development Center in IIMC Campus. She launched ECHO Newsletter, Samachar Madhyam and Communicator magazines.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that it is an honour to preside over an event which brings journalists of 16 countries under one roof. She added that one should always continue to learn new things. She further added that development Journalism is an area where there should be more focus.
Smt Smriti Irani while lauding the efforts of IIMC in consistently bringing out its magazine, said that IIMC has a global legacy in communication.She further added that we should concentrate on developing communication at grassroots. Minister pointed out during the speech that an average Indian spends 200 minutes a day on mobile app and that 65% of video consumption in our country is only from rural areas and is slated to grow further. In this scenario, the media and entertainment industry should think about what new things can be offered to the consumers.
Minister further added that times have changed from the time when editor had the last word on the narrative. Now consumer also decides on the narrative and asks about the source of information. In this age of data exploding from every nook and corner, many would google every piece of information and hence it is important to be credible.
Director General, IIMC Shri KG Suresh said that IIMC had trained students from 127 countries so far in the development journalism course and that signifies the importance of the course. He said that IIMC is Asia’s oldest media research unit and further should act as the Communication hub/ think tank. He said that Development Journalism is a symbol of South south cooperation and that these journalists attending the course are India’s unofficial ambassadors.