19 Aug 2021

Free press and democracy are possible due to one another: Prakash Belawadi

Journalists should maintain balance between qualitative and quantitative judgements, says movie and theatre personality

Democracy is possible because of a free press, and a free press is possible because of democracy, Prakash Belawadi, movie and theatre personality and journalist, said.

Understanding legal affairs and the asking relevant questions are of utmost importance for a free press, Mr Belawadi said while addressing IIJNM students on Thursday, August 19.

Journalism works on proof, he told the trainee journalists.

Social media and algorithms have taken over the human mind, he noted. People, especially journalists, should maintain a balance between qualitative and quantitative judgements.

In today’s era of social media and the World Wide Web, humans are working for machines. “When you lend your support to a group or a machine, you have given your brain and body to it.”

Mr Belawadi, a TEDx speaker, highlighted the need for an independent film authority and complete freedom for filmmakers. Over-the-top media are a field future independent film and documentary makers must keep an eye on.

For journalists and film and documentary makers, using powerful words is of utmost importance, he said. He emphasized the need for a communication triangle (content, performance and audience) and independence in the world of Web series and movies.

Showing the future journalists the way to the media world, Mr Belawadi said: “If you want freedom or morals as journalists, you have to take a side.”

Welcoming the trainee journalists to the world of news media and filmmaking, he said they must believe in their intent, strive for their passion, and bring about change in society.

Following the lecture, Mr Belawadi answered questions from the students.

Mr Belawadi’s debut film ‘Stumble’, which he wrote and directed, won the National Award for Best Film in the English Language, 2003. He was conferred ‘Pratibha Bhushan’ in 2003 by the government of Karnataka for his contribution to culture, and the Karnataka Nataka Academy Award (2011-12) for his contribution to English and Kannada language theatre.

By Jinit Parmar

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