The Lawrence Dana Pinkham memorial lecture for this year was delivered by Robin Jeffrey, the author of many critically acclaimed books including Cell phone nation. The Indophile, while addressing the graduating class of Asian School of Journalism, emphasised that the students should exploit the ongoing digital revolution in India. He reckoned that the current Indian scenario was similar to the golden era of American journalism during the 1900s. In an era where information is bombarded by the digital media, the traditional publishers feel the pinch. But this paves the way for the zealous youth to come out with innovative solutions. He lauded CGNet Swara, a voice-based portal that allows anyone to report and listen to stories of local interest through phone. Its founder Shu Choudary made the Adivasis report and bring their stories to the world. It is easy to be small in this digital era but it also has its implications. Jeffrey advised budding journalists to refrain from the sordid way of reporting followed by some journalism houses. India offers a huge platform for the undaunted journalists and bloggers to give their share of genuine journalism. He cites that the positioning of Indian journalism provides the opportunity of making a mark despite being small. Despite all these opportunities, he says, the system hasn’t thrown up a single Dalit in the reporting positions and he believes the digital revolution will confront all these inequalities by pumping fresh blood into the system.
The world is ready for an Indian media presence and Jeffrey believes the digital revolution could pave the way for a global reach.