23/08/2012

Bias of the Media


The truth is that the media is biased against some communities. It's surprising that the recent killing of Sikhs in a gurudwara in the US has got more media coverage than the death of 70 people in Assam.” This extract from the brief letter of Subrata Mukherjee (Delhi) in The Hindustan Times (13 August) is in response to the article of Rajdeep Sardesai (The Hindustan Times, 10 August) in which the attitude of media in reporting the events and incidents was defended and an excuse was given that ‘the lack of proper coverage of the Assam riots is due to inaccessibility’ in the far-flung areas there.
The letter writer has deemed the entire argument of Rajdeep as weak and said that media has not at all been unbiased. This Rajdeep Sardesai is a great don of corporate media, runs CNN, IBN and IBN-7 and many other news channels, and has his say in print media as well. Naturally, when he is a man of corporate media, his stand in reporting and comments on situations and developments can be imagined.

 The colour of the entire media is the same
Not to say of Rajdeep Sardesai alone, most of the great journalists of Indian media are associated with corporate media; and most of the news channels and English, Hindi and regional languages newspapers are run by big corporate houses. This is so much so that media itself has emerged as a money-spinning industry and the journalists associated with it work for the benefit of their masters and in return earn lakhs nay crores. Central and state governments, in lieu of their strong purchasing power, get them work as per their policies, and give them hefty bribes in the form of gifts and foreign tours. To flourish their business these channels and newspapers are always after increasing their TRP. They report only those events and incidents, of course with their special angel, which can either serve their interests or increase the number of their readers and watchers. They do not have such interest in Assam, at least for the time being. Some participants of the rally at Azad Maidan, Mumbai had the same complain against media; but due to the mischief of someone or sentimentalism of some participants the situation got unpleasant.
 


But this is also a bright aspect
But it is not the characterlessness of media that we have to lament here but what we intend here is to acknowledge the feelings of people like Subrata Mukherjee. There are lakhs of people in the country who complain against the irresponsible attitude of media, which sometimes find expression in the letters column of print media. This silent population of the country is worried not only about the attitude of media in news reporting but also about its waywardness in presenting cultural and entertainment programmes. The seriousness of the way Indian media, in pursuit of toeing the line of the west, is promoting immodest culture and spreading obscenity among new generations has not been duly felt. The problem is that those who feel are not organised; there might be some NGOs but their performance is not visible. Yes, this work can be done by the present chairman of Press Council of India Justice Markande Katju, if he so wills. He is for promoting high moral values in society. He must do something for this purpose. This suggestion could have been extended to Team Anna and Baba Ramdev but to move against media would perhaps prove detrimental to them.

19/ 08/12 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf

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