Media a potent force multiplier: Indian Army chiefAugust 31st, 2010 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) The media should be viewed not only as a synergy partner but as a “potent” force multiplier and the military should take formal steps to acknowledge the role of the media by establishing formalized accreditation and training processes, the Indian Army chief, Gen. V.K. Singh said Tuesday.
“It is prudent to view media not only as a synergy partner but as a potent force multiplier,” he said in his keynote address at a two-day seminar on Media-Military Synergy being conducted by the Army Training Command, here.
He set the pace of the seminar, by highlighting the role of media as the guardian of democratic values. He also acknowledged that a journalist is a trustee of the society and that he must always uphold that trust.
Realising the urgency of graduating into a more open and supportive relationship with the media in future, the army chief said that the military should take formal steps to acknowledge the role of the media by establishing formalized accreditation and training processes.
In his opening remarks, Lt. Gen. A.S. Lamba, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army Training Command said: “War is won by military force, the general’s strategic acumen, diplomatic resolve and skill; but it is the media that gets the message through to the public and strengthens public opinion.”
The services need to appreciate the media’s potential influence to mutual benefit, he added.
The key to convergence, Lamba pointed out, lay in understanding each other and rising above institutional cultures and compulsions and willingness to endure a few setbacks.
“The seminar is aimed at identifying comprehensively respective viewpoints towards achieving desired synergy, fostering mutual understanding and setting the ground for maximising desired influence on this important issue,” a defence ministry statement said.
“While the perspective session revealed lessons relating to varying viewpoints and standoffs that project military operations and day-to-day events, the follow on session identified timelines and transparency as an imperative,” the statement added.
Focusing on existing models and examples in media military convergence the world over, the speakers drew parallels in our own context. There was a visible need to elevate the synergy from the tactical and operational to the strategic level to ensure image and perceptions are appropriately facilitated.
Ethics, deadlines and competition among the media needed to be understood by the military, the speakers said.
Amongst the participants Tuesday were Mark Tully (former BBC bureau chief), Suhasini Haidar (CNN-IBN), K.V. Prasad and Sandeep Dikshit (The Hindu), Sanjay Ahirwal (NDTV), former Indian Navy chief Admiral (retd) Arun Prakash and noted defence analyst Commodore (retd) Uday Bhaskar.
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