Indian Readership Survey (IRS) is an institution that measures the readership of newspapers and viewership of news channels and ascertains their value in the market. It releases its report every three months. It released its report of the second quartet of the current year on October 1. The daily declared by this institution to have the largest readership manipulates this certificate and exercises its superiority over its “rivals”. The interesting thing is that this meanness is played not by Hindi or Urdu dailies but by big English dailies. In the last quartet report, this institution declared The Times of India to have the largest readership among all English dailies. In its October 3 issue, the Times on its front page carried a big headline, “Number one TOI widens lead over rivals across India”. Then it writes in which city how far ahead it is from its “rivals”. However in capital Delhi it simply says that its readership has grown. That is, it does not say that here The Hindustan Times is No. 1 as usual. It should be mentioned here that the survey does not provide the number of copies published; it only estimates the number of its readers.
Let serious readers think
It is all but natural that serious readers have no interest in this mutual competition between these newspapers and channels. However it is the serious readers who can ponder over their strategy to increase their readership and viewership (TRP). Besides presenting on news channels reports of events in a sensational manner, hair splitting, making mountains out of molehills, and making non-issue an issue and issue a non-issue, these media portals also promote obscenity and waywardness just to increase their TRP. In this regard the print media is also not lagging behind it. The magazine sections of two newspapers of Delhi, The Times of India and The Hindustan Times are replete with obscene pictures. They do not hesitate in destroying the young generation and involving modern prosperous families in mental waywardness just in the name of art and culture. But the most heinous work this media does to increase its TRP and earn monetary benefits is to disseminate the lies of government agencies more and more in covering incidents of violence and terrorism. In this process newspapers and channels try to surpass each other.
Media is also an industry and business
This competition among between these newspapers is not to highlight realities and promote virtues but to suppress realities and spread obscenity. It was never that a newspaper or channel challenged the police story of a given incident of terrorism. Sometimes police statements on incidents of violence and arresting of Muslim youth and allegations leveled against them are so ridiculous that their realities become obvious even to ordinary citizens. Common people mock at these stories but these newspapers and channels try hard to prove them “solid” and “concrete”. Some so-called reporters even present stories of police and secret agencies as their own. And it is apparent that this strategy of media is aimed at increasing its TRP and reaping some benefits from certain political and social groups. As this report of The Times of India shows, it is these newspapers and channels that confess the fact that newspapers and channels are also business enterprises, and that like other businesses they too have competition among them.