Mass Media Can Be a Growth Engine

Article excerpt

New Delhi, March 15 -- While the economy is not out of the woods yet, India's media and entertainment business is expected to double in size to ' 1.66 lakh-crore industry by 2017. The business offers the prospect of being an employment generator without needing large public investments, said Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India, a part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, at a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) event.

Despite the overall slowdown in the Indian economy, the sector clocked an impressive growth of 12% last year compared with the overall economic growth of 4%.

However, Shankar also flagged the concerns of the industry about free speech and paid news.

"Used to only a compliant state media, successive central governments have often used policy to limit free expression," said Shankar, who is also the chairman of the Ficci Media and Entertainment Committee, while addressing the audience at Ficci Frames 2014. "And, increasingly, state governments have crossed the boundary by actually owning and running private media enterprises. …