GENERAL ASSEMBLY > from previous page
of their gender, ethnic background, age or education. Emphasis had been put on respecting the country’s cultural and ethnic diversity, to avoid any religious or social discrimination.
Programmes that ran contrary to human nature and norms, he said were replete with immoral content and carrying them would sow the seed of discord.
Chrissie Tucker, Diversity Manager at ABC-Australia, focused on gender issues.
She said the media had a unique role in providing content that included gender and represented all sectors of society. Women should be represented in all aspects of broadcasting.
From a business point of view, a broadcasting organisation would be better off when it had a broad range of employees with a broad range of views.
She said broadcasters should strive for fair and effective content related to gender. They should expand networks, internally and externally, to support gender initiatives, and participate in formal and informal gender audits of media content.
On the production side, they should avoid the stereotyping of roles for women and men, and introduce greater diversity in topics, talent and techniques.
Narayan Rao, Executive Vice-Chairperson, NDTV-
16 ABU News
Special Topic Session
Media needs to play the role of social reformer
should provide platforms of information and leadership to bring about social change. They should also act as a watchdog and push the collective effort in a positive direction.
Development journalism should spur the government into fixing things, says Narayanan Rao of NDTV-India.
India, said the growth of the media in India had been mind boggling. It was now the largest free TV market in the world.
He said it was the role of the media to keep people informed of governance. This put it at odds with government.
In the first 40 years of India’s independence, governments had been able to win re-election without having to do much. But in the last 20 years the media has been forcing the government to be accountable and to deliver on its promises.
Describing censorship and free reporting as sworn enemies, Mr Rao said development journalism should focus on the needs of the deprived, poor and marginalised, highlight shortcomings and spur the government into fixing things.
Savyasaachi Jain, Consul- tant at IntegriTV, spoke on the media and HIV/AIDS.
He said basic information about HIV prevention was still not reaching audiences,
especially those who need it most.
HIV prevention depends on people getting the information and adopting behaviour that would allow them to protect them- selves, and the media was the primary vehicle through which such information could be made available.
The media can shape our attitudes, change our beliefs, practices and behaviour, he said. And the broadcast media was the best means to achieve this.
Mr Jain said broadcasters could help fight HIV/AIDS by creating innovative content, creating music, using celebrities, building partnerships and providing training for programme makers.
Moneeza Hashmi, Presi- dent of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and General Manager for International Relations at HUM TV-Pakistan, spoke on the media and poverty alleviation.
She said the media had an important role to play as social reformer. They
The media were failing in their responsibilities unless they made positive changes in the social set- up to alleviate poverty, she said.
They should make their respective countries places where all citizens were protected by the same laws, where everyone enjoyed the same essentials: clean water, health and food benefits; places where women were treated as equal, and where each citizen could walk without fear of any discrimination based on race, cast or creed.
Xia Jixuan, Deputy Director General of China Radio International, said the media played an important role in economical, political and social development.
It had made a direct contribution to economic growth, served as an educational tool for teaching new techno- logies, and played a vital role in achieving good governance and overall social development.
He said there was an ur- gent need to define a new type of international jour- nalism – cross-culture and cross-border reporting – to meet the changing needs of a changing audience in a changing world.
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