Private programme with People's Daily, China
MUMBAI: On 27th November, 2018, Asia Society India Centre hosted a private roundtable programme with a delegation from the People’s Daily, China’s largest newspaper group, along with members of the Indian media and think tank community to discuss the political, economic and media landscape in India and China.
The Chinese delegation included Lyu Yansong, Deputy Editor-in-Chief; Wen Hongyan, Director General of Political and Cultural News Department; Wu Weizheng, Deputy Director General of Economic and Social News Department; Su Chao, Deputy Chief Sub-editor of Theory Department; and Wang Shubin, Deputy Chief of External Relations Department. The Indian delegation included Sidharth Bhatia, Founder Editor of TheWire.in; Kalpana Sharma, Consulting Editor of Economic and Political Weekly; Meena Menon, independent journalist and author; and R N Bhaskar, Consulting Editor at Free Press Journal and moneycontrol.com.
The discussion opened with remarks by the Indian delegation. They commented on the difficulties in remaining independent in the media today due to its corporatized ownership. Bhatia observed that independent online platforms, although limited in their reach and readership, are changing the way in which journalism is being done. Menon commented that the current state of the media has led to an increase in independent journalists in India because corporate ownership imposes certain restrictions and limitations on the kind of reporting and content that may be allowed to feature by editors.
Deputy Editor-in-Chief of People’s Daily, Lyu Yansong then gave his remarks on the potential for a thorough understanding about India in China and the scope it provides for interaction between Indian and Chinese media, which has not been explored enough Hindi films provide a peek into the Indian society and help draw parallels with Chinese society. The improved relations between India and China are reflected by the increased meetings between Prime Minister Modi and President Jinping.
Thereafter the discussion commenced wherein both sides asked questions about issues of independence of the media, the structure of the media, etc. With respect to the reach of the Chinese media, Yansong clarified that the People’s Daily group had 29 newspapers and magazines in print and the combined readership of the digital and print versions is about 786 million. Issues concerning the masses like loss of property owing to developmental projects are also often highlighted by the media in both countries.
The discussion concluded with an agreement on the aim of the media, as stated by Mr. Yansong, is to connect with the people.
As reported by Saanaee Naik, Programme Assistant, Asia Society India Centre