“Journalism, the State, the Market & the Public Interest”

A Discussion with Bloomberg News’ Editor-In-Chief Emeritus Matthew Winkler on December 10, 2018

As media consumption moves from advertising to subscription-based models, will products of legacy media houses become less accessible to the common man?  Does it make sense to include editorials in newspapers even when they don’t get as much reader attention as the entertainment pages? Why have Indian newspapers caved in to pressures exercised by the state and not done enough to hold truth to power, like their counterparts in America? Will increasing access to data help journalists speak truth to power or will it actually help the state to tyrannize the press? These are some of the themes that came up in a wide-ranging panel discussion held at the Asian College of Journalism on 10th December.

“The bad news is that the forces that are determined to oppress the press are also more inimical, insidious and are using the very same kinds of tools to weaken the press,” according to Matthew Winkler, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Bloomberg News, who led the discussion themed around “Journalism, The State, The Market & The Public Interest”. Sashi Kumar, Chairman of the Media Development Foundation and the ACJ, moderated the session. N.Ram, Chairman of the Hindu Group’s publishing company and a trustee of the MDF, and Parry Ravindranathan, President and Managing Director International of Bloomberg Media, were also part of the panel.

Ram quoted the famous lines of Italian-born British poet and civil servant Humbert Wolfe to sum the state of the media in many parts of the world: “You cannot hope to bribe or twist the British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do unbribed, there’s no occasion to.”