The second speaker of the panel discussion on Media Crises in a Globalised World, was Dr Sundeep Muppidi of Nanyang Technological University. He started off by explaining the traditional roles of the media, and how it has diverted from its original vision of being factual and objective to something that is glitzy, lacking in depth and sensational.
He then started dividing the changing media into three different categories. They are ; the social watch dog, government lap dog and corporate guard dog. Quoting Outlook Magazine editor Vinod Mehta on how the quality of editors have gone down, they’re egos are somewhat similar to dogs. Therefore what is the media really?
Muppidi explained each category starting with the social watch dog media as the fourth estate, creating debate and watching out for abuse of power and went on to explain that a large part of the media now plays the role of the corporate guard dog by promoting and protecting business interests and attracting audience as a means of selling advertising.
He talked about the ‘New Avatar of the Media’ and how it has become more accessible, global, interactive and providing convergence when compared to the media of old. Concluding he maintained that this new avatar must create a balancing act between proximity/global reach of content with marketing needs and technical limitations. The ideal situation would be when a policy that advocates a balance between public interest and marketization. “You can always make more money if you provide good content,” Muppidi summed up.