Media has always been an instrument of propaganda.
I remember in my childhood days listening to the Hindi Programs of BBC and Radio Moscow. Even in a Hindi program by BBC, if at all India was covered, it would be in connection with something bad that happened. Radio Moscow was all about the glory of communism and the evils done by countries like the US.
I think nothing much has changed since then. Unless there is a rape, cyclone or a starvation death, the western media hardly mentions India. The TV Channel RT (Russia Times) focuses on the evils of American politics and society while, in a subtle way trying to establish the supremacy of the Russian leaders.
In fact the whole story of the James Bond movie – Tomorrow Never Dies – is centered around the controlling power of a media Moghul. It shows to what extent the head of the media house could go to create sensational news.
Of course, in real life media houses may not go the extreme extent of creating war so as to be one up in covering sensational news. However, it may be remembered that most of the media houses are owned either by the government or, by big business houses. Ultimately, the owners impose their vested interest in some form or the other.
In our country, particularly in South India many of the media houses are owned by the political parties. While some of remaining ones have their own political or ideological leanings, the rest have their business interests at heart. In such a scenario how can you expect the media house to be neutral and non-sensational in covering and presenting news?
In our country, particularly in South India many of the media houses are owned by the political parties. While some of remaining ones have their own political or ideological leanings, the rest have their business interests at heart.
The bias of the media can be visible particularly in election times. Propaganda material is peddled as news. Even on the day the election results are announced, till the last moment TV channels would be showing inflated numbers for their favourite political party.
Another irritating feature of Indian TV channels is the number of advertisements they show. Sometimes you feel, it is an advertisement channel with little bits of news nuggets thrown in as fillers.Of course Doordarshan and regional language channels are way better in this respect.
Another irritating feature of Indian TV channels is the number of advertisements they show. Sometimes you feel, it is an advertisement channel with little bits of news nuggets thrown in as fillers.
Then of course there was this Arnab Goswami. I think he is still there somewhere in invisible mode planning his next strike. He has started a whole new trend in imposing a particular point of view. One can see the influence of his Tughlaqi andaz on other channels where some go to ridiculous extents to imitate his style.
Another disconcerting fact that is noticed not only in the case of Indian journalists but also in the case of international ones is that, even senior and renowned journalists do not take stands based on the merits of each issue de-linking it from their personal bias towards a person or a group.
The press in general touches a low point when journalists go to any extent to serve biased news for pecuniary benefits and other favours. This has given rise to a new word that is in vougue now a days. Presstitutes. The interesting thing is – this is out and out an Indian contribution to the English vocabulary.
It is unfortunate that the press, which is termed as the fourth pillar of democracy, is on shaky grounds.