05 August, 2021

'Why Can't We Invest To Gain Expertise On, Say, China?'

The doyen of Indian journalism shares his anxieties about the current state of the media

T. Narayan
'Why Can't We Invest To Gain Expertise On, Say, China?'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
For generations of readers, Sham Lal has been one of the most authentic and lucid points of contact with the intellectual world. Never the one to cultivate arrogance that comes easily with the learned word, he has preferred anonymity both as a writer and long-time editor of The Times of India. A friend of the likes of Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz and Stephen Spender, he’s now in his 90s in the happy contentment of retirement. A satellite radio receiver gives him company. And as the book spines on unending mahogany racks form a quiet halo, he shares his anxieties about the current state of the media. Excerpts:

How has the print media changed between your times and the present?
The most striking change has been its conversion from a cottage industry to a part of the big corporate sector. The second is the emergence of television as a main rival in the market. This is all the more significant because television not only provides news on tap all hours of day and night, but also takes the audience to see events as they happen on the spot. It would be natural in...

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