The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

The Technology & Economic Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to Technological and Economic developments in India. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 09 May 2010 04:35

Admins - Starting a new Thread since i didn't notice any media related threads pertaining to this sensitive subject.

When media houses of "long standing & repute" put up the content of their publications / air time to the highest bidder, where does this slide in ethics end? What are it's implications for the country?

There are serious implications in this -

1) a few can control the perceptions of the country. Where content is not a fact, but a manufactured product.

2) Are there any regulations to control such debasement and to uphold good ethical practices and objectivity?

3) Have any Media houses been brought to book for such misdeeds?

4) What lies ahead...... ???

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/08/world ... ?ref=world

By AKASH KAPUR
Published: May 7, 2010

PONDICHERRY, INDIA — A businessman I know was approached by representatives of a leading Indian national newspaper and offered a deal: Give us a stake in your company, and we’ll give you advertising space and favorable editorial coverage.

A publisher told me that she received a similar proposition: Pay us, and we’ll interview your authors and write features about them.

Sushma Swaraj, the parliamentary leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has said that she was offered favorable media coverage during national elections last year in exchange for 10 million rupees, or $220,000.


I wrote a few weeks ago about the commercialization of intellectual and cultural life in India. There is perhaps no example of this trend more egregious than the phenomenon of “paid content” or “paid news,” in which space for articles in newspapers, magazines and the electronic media is sold without it being labeled as such for readers.

Rumors about shady practices — unethical, possibly illegal — in the Indian media have circulated for years. Over the past year or so, and especially since the 2009 parliamentary elections, when the sale of media space was reported to have reached new heights, the issue has drawn more attention.

Questions have been raised in Parliament. Last July, the Press Council of India, a government-sanctioned monitoring group, formed a two-man committee to look into the allegations. The committee completed a draft report last week that was due to be released publicly, but that release is on hold after a strong show of opposition from media owners.


Nonetheless, many of the report’s key findings have been leaked into the public domain, and they make for damning reading. Though publishers have complained that the evidence presented is weak, the report identifies several publications that are believed to have sold editorial space and it lists scores of instances in which the practice allegedly occurred.

Paranjoy Guha-Thakurta, one of the authors of the report, told me that one of its most disturbing findings was that the practice of paid content had become “institutionalized.” He said that it goes beyond individual editors or publishers, and beyond the occasional paid junket. “What started out as an individual aberration has become an illness, an epidemic of sorts,” he said. “This makes the malpractice all the more troubling.”

The commercialization of the Indian media takes many forms. It has been known for some time that a few of India’s leading media conglomerates — including Bennett, Coleman & Co., the publisher of The Times of India and The Economic Times — offer what that company calls “innovative” and “integrated” marketing strategies that blur the traditional line between advertising and article content. Bennett, Coleman’s Medianet division, for example, lets advertisers place articles on certain pages in the paper without clearly marking them as advertising.

One of the company’s more aggressive offerings is a product known as a Private Treaty, which offers companies a certain amount of advertising space in exchange for equity stakes in those companies. According to the Private Treaties Web site, Bennett, Coleman now holds such equity stakes in more than 100 companies.


Officially, the companies are only given advertising space. But at least one businessman confirmed to me that it was made clear that he could also expect favorable news coverage.

At the very least, it seems evident that Private Treaties set up a very serious conflict of interest, a point highlighted last year when the Indian stock market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, wrote a letter to the chairman of the Press Council expressing concern about the business practice.

Private Treaties are an example of the commodification of business news. But much of the recent attention in India has focused on paid political content. Over the past year or so, there have been a growing number of reports of politicians paying media houses for favorable coverage or to skirt restrictions on campaign financing.


P. Sainath, the rural affairs editor of The Hindu, a national newspaper, has been instrumental in drawing attention to such practices. In a series of articles on elections in Maharashtra State last year, Mr. Sainath listed specific prices for different kinds of articles.

For 400,000 rupees, he found, newspapers would publish the profile of a candidate as well as “four news items of your choice.” For 15 million rupees — ten times the amount a candidate in state assembly elections can legally spend on a campaign — politicians could buy a special supplement.

Such practices come in for particular condemnation in the Press Council report, which argues that paid political content is not only unethical, but also illegal.

Paying for political content involves three acts of deception, the report says, according to Mr. Guha-Thakurta. First, it deceives citizens and consumers, who are not aware that the “news” they are reading is in fact an advertisement. Second, it violates election spending laws. And finally, newspapers receiving payment from politicians are usually violating tax laws, given that the operations are clandestine.

More generally, the report argues that paid content “undermines Indian democracy” and it calls on the government to protect India’s democratic values and institutions. Notably, it recommends adding the purchase of content to the list of acts — including corruption and incitement to communal violence — that are already defined as “electoral malpractice” under Indian law
.
Last edited by Pranay on 09 May 2010 04:40, edited 1 time in total.

Prasad
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7492
Joined: 16 Nov 2007 00:53
Location: Chennai

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Prasad » 09 May 2010 04:37

Pranay,
There is a media watch thread already in the GDF. This will fit right in in that thread. Please have a look.

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 09 May 2010 04:42

Thanks tsriram!

Admins - feel free to merge the content to the thread in GDF as appropriate.

thanks...

Just perused the media thread on GDF ... It's not topic specific as i would like this thread to be...

Gagan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11209
Joined: 16 Apr 2008 22:25

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Gagan » 09 May 2010 08:14

This is a well known fact.

Now the likes of the Times of India have institutionalized this with the pay and write editorials scheme.

The vernacular media continues to pander to local politicos and their hair brained schemes. The english media seem to judge India with the same biased scale that the westerners judge it by. It seems that for the mediamen and women, just the fact that they speak in ingliss means that they are now uplifted to bhestern istandards and they can apply the same scale to judge things here.

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 09 May 2010 21:23

A conundrum that the government faces is that if they try any sort of regulation, the compromised "Free Media" will cry bloody murder from the rooftops. As it is, as the above post states, the media owners lobby has been successful in stalling the release of the report by the Press Council of India.

It is understandable that every media house will have their institutional biases. Some may be pro-right, some may be pro-left etc. etc. . That is pretty healthy in fact.

As the independent media evolves in India, i hope that a business model on the lines of NPR here in the States comes into play. Indian democracy will surely benefit from such an outcome.

Murugan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4191
Joined: 03 Oct 2002 11:31
Location: Smoking Piskobidis

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Murugan » 21 May 2010 10:35

Pranay wrote:A conundrum that the government faces is that if they try any sort of regulation, the compromised "Free Media" will cry bloody murder from the rooftops. As it is, as the above post states, the media owners lobby has been successful in stalling the release of the report by the Press Council of India.

It is understandable that every media house will have their institutional biases. Some may be pro-right, some may be pro-left etc. etc. . That is pretty healthy in fact.

As the independent media evolves in India, i hope that a business model on the lines of NPR here in the States comes into play. Indian democracy will surely benefit from such an outcome.


And many of them will be Pro-West

Now there are three Pros in India

Vaam Panthi - Leftist
Dakshin Panthi - Rightist
Pashchim Panthi - Congress - sold out

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 06 Aug 2010 06:18

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?266542

'Paid News': The Buried Report
The report they don't want you to read. Full text of the controversial report by the Press Council of India's subcommittee.


Perhaps those who drafted the "final report" did not see any irony in the following which was also quoted in the press-release issued by the PCI on July 30:

“Sections of the media in India have willy-nilly become participants and players in such practices that contribute to the growing use of money power in politics which undermines democratic processes and norms – while hypocritically pretending to occupy a high moral ground. This has not merely undermined democracy in India but also tarnished the country’s reputation.”

As P. Sainath wrote in the Hindu:

The PCI has simply buckled at the knees before the challenge of “Paid News.” Its decision of July 30 to sideline its own sub-committee's report — which named and shamed the perpetrators of “paid news” — will go down as one of the sorriest chapters in its history. A chapter that will not be forgotten and the impact of which causes immeasurable damage to the fight against major corruption within the Indian media. A chapter that saw the PCI back down in the struggle against the suborning of the media by money power; though its “final report” pretends to fight it in a flood of platitudes. And a chapter that does grave damage to the image and credibility of the PCI itself. Leave aside for the moment the harm it has done to the public interest. Or to the future of the Indian media as a free and honest institution.

Mr Sainath concluded his piece by saying:

To say we have not suppressed the sub-committee's report, we have merely relegated it to our archive for reference, is to add infuriating insult to injury. To praise the authors of the original (as happened in its July 30 meeting) for their effort and then gut the result of that pioneering work, was hypocrisy of a high order. To then present the mangled remains as a guide to fighting paid news eclipses even that benchmark of insincerity. The public surely deserve better. Those publications and channels that were not part of this ugly enterprise of paid news ought to act. For a start, they can put up the “reference”


So here it is. As a "reference document".

We hope to have more details about the sequence of events leading to the scuttling of this report as we are trying to cross-verify the names of those who, by a show of hands, voted in favour of the report being made public -- other than the PCI chairman and the two authors of the report -- and those who opposed it.

We learn that out of the 24 of the full 30 member PCI, who attended the July 30 meeting, 9 (including the chairman) were in favour of the report being annexed to the "final" report, 10 opposed it and 5 remained non-committal. So, effectively, it was not just those who openly opposed but also the non-committal and absent members who allowed this report to be consigned to the archives rather than being made public officially.

At the same time, perhaps the only silver lining to the dark cloud is that at least nine out of 24 did want the report to be made public officially.

Watch this space.

We hope to have more information about the above 24 in the course of the day.


http://www.scribd.com/doc/35436631/The- ... -Paid-News

Revised draft report prepared on April 01, 2010, for circulation among members of the Press Council of India “Paid News”: How corruption in the Indian media undermines democracy.


Well worth the time to read the Draft in full... 70 + pages full of examples of the what lies beneath the gloss. Frightening!! :shock:

krisna
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5829
Joined: 22 Dec 2008 06:36

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby krisna » 06 Aug 2010 07:35

^^^^
In recent years, corruption in the Indian media has gone way beyond the corruption of individual journalists and media organizations: from “planting” information and views in lieu of favours received in cash or kind, to more
institutionalized and organized forms of corruption wherein publishers of newspapers and owners of television channels receive funds for publishing or broadcasting information in favour of particular individuals or corporate entities that is disguised as “news”.

When “news” is published in favour of a particular politician or a political party by selling editorial space, the phenomenon of “paid news” becomes even more pernicious. Innumerable complimentary “news” reports and feature articles on representatives of political parties, including candidates who have been contesting elections, have appeared in newspapers and broadcast on television channels across the country in the run-up to the 2009 LokSabha elections as well as the state legislative assembly elections. No disclosure was made that before such “news” was printed or broadcast, that money had been exchanged between the concerned candidate or political party to which he or she belongs and the owners or representatives of media organizations.

The concerned newspapers and television channels received money for “paid news” in cash and not in the form of cheques and did not disclose such earnings in their official company balance sheets.

What is worse, these illegal operations have become “organized” and involve advertising agencies and public relations firms, besides journalists, managers and owners of media companies. Marketing executives use the services of journalists – willingly or otherwise – to gain access to political personalities. So-called “rate cards” or “packages” are distributed that often include “rates” for publication of “news” items that not merely praise particular candidates but also criticize their political opponents. Candidates who do not go along with such “extortionist” practices on the part of media organizations are denied coverage. Sections of the media in India have consciously chosen to become
partners, participants and players in malpractices that contribute to the growing use of money power in politics that, in turn, undermine democratic processes and norms. At the same time, representatives of media organizations against whom allegations are levelled publicly condemn the practice of “paid news”. Some such individuals behave in a
hypocritical manner and pretend to occupy a high moral ground.


The publication or broadcast of “paid news” have not merely undermined democracy in India but also tarnished the country’s reputation as foreign newspapers have already started writing about, and commenting adversely on, such malpractices. In recent months, articles about such malpractices have appeared in at least three newspapers, the Wall Street Journal (published from the United States), theGuardian (United Kingdom) and the Independent (Bangladesh), none of which edify either the media in India nor contribute to projecting a positive image of the world’s largest democracy.


2009 general elections saw obscene amounts of money spent. politicians/parties with deep pockets made most news.According to Sainath the worst he has ever witnessed in terms of misuse of money/paid news.

Rajdeep Sardard is the current head of editors guild of India.
only a loksatta memebr-Parcha kodanda Rama Rao has provided documentary evidence of paid news.

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 07 Aug 2010 05:53

http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?266560

'Conspiracy Of Silence'
One of the authors of the controversial PCI report that was sought to be scuttled says he is "not surprised entirely, but very disappointed. The publishers' lobby proved to be very powerful indeed". Extracts from an interview.


The subcommittee -- comprising you and K. Sreenivas Reddy -- was said to have been praised for preparing the report [“Paid News”: How corruption in the Indian media undermines democracy] in the full Press Council of India meeting of July 30. But, eventually, in the final report submitted to the government of India, your 36,000-word report finds a mention only as a footnote. It is not even on the website of the PCI as a "reference document". Were you surprised that your "devastating report" has been effectively buried never to be made public officially?

Not surprised entirely, but very disappointed. The publishers' lobby proved to be very powerful indeed.


Why do you think there is hardly any media-coverage of this...?

Well, that's a pity. The same powerful media which otherwise wants transparency from all -- from the country’s elected representatives, from the judiciary, from the bureaucracy etcetera etcetera and which also talks loudly about the need to curb corruption in high places -- can indeed be complicit in perpetuating this conspiracy of silence.

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 07 Aug 2010 08:08

http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?266559



PRESS COUNCIL MEETING
Who Voted How?
What happened in the July 30, 2010 meeting of the Press Council? Who voted for the subcommittee report to be made public and who wanted it buried?

There was no recorded voting. Since there was only a show of hands, we tried to cross-verify from amongst those present about who voted how. The following seems to be the result of our inquiries so far:

Out of the 30 members of the Press Council:

Absent: 6

Vilas Muttemwar, MP (LS) (Congress)
Dr. K. Keshava Rao, MP (RS) (Congress)
Milan Kumar Dey, Bar Council of India
Dr. Lalit Mangotra, Sahitya Akademi
Sanjay Dina Patil, MP (LS) (NCP)
Joginder Chawla, Working News Cameramen Association
Out of the 24 present:

For the report to be made public: 9

Justice Ganendra Narayan Ray, Chairman, PCI
K Sreenivas Reddy, Visala Andhra Daily
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, UGC
Vishnu Nagar, Executive Editor, Kadambini
S.N. Sinha, Indian Journalists Union
M.K. Ajith Kumar,Chief Correspondent, Mathrubhumi
G. Prabhakaran, The Hindu
V.S. Chandrasekar,Executive Editor, Press Trust of India
Kalyan Barooah, Journalist, Assam Tribune

Non-Committal about whether or not the report should be made public: 3

Mrs Vibha Bhargava, Secretary, PCI
Ananth Kumar, MP (LS) (BJP)
Prakash Javadekar, MP (RS) (BJP) -- (left mid-way during the meeting)

Against the report to be made public: 12

Hormusji Nusserwanji Cama, The Bombay Samachar
Vijay Kumar Chopra, Editor, Filmi Duniya
T. Venkattram Reddy, Andhra Bhoomi, Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited
Suman Gupta, Editor, Saryu Tat Se
Mihir Gangopadhyay (Ganguly), Regular Freelance Contributor of Bartaman
Uttam Chandra Sharma, Editor, Muzaffarnagar Bulletin
Sheetla Singh, Editor, Janmorcha
Yogesh Chandra Halan, Editor, Asian Defence News
Anil Jugal Kishore Agrawal, Amravati Mandal, Daily Amravati Mandal
Kundan Raman Lal Vyas, Janmbhoomi Pravasi Weekly
Ramesh Gupta, Tej Weekly
Sushil Jhalani, Arun Prabha

This is based on information from some of the members present. Should any of those present in the July 30 meeting wish to dispute the above, we would be more than happy to offer their version and/or correct the above
.

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 07 Aug 2010 18:47

Coverage on The Wall Street Journal ...

http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PU ... 90795.html

Want Press Coverage? Give Me Some Money


http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010 ... paid-news/

Weeding out ‘Paid News’


http://in.news.yahoo.com/48/20100723/80 ... rna_1.html

'Paid news could mark death of journalism'


http://mediavigil.blogspot.com/2010/05/ ... media.html

Another link to the Draft Document, just in case...

http://wearethebest.wordpress.com/2009/ ... ocmentary/

Lot's of pertinent links embedded...


kasthuri
BRFite
Posts: 411
Joined: 02 Jan 2009 08:17
Location: Mount Doom in Mordor

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby kasthuri » 21 Aug 2010 02:33

One of the crappiest article in TOI that I came across today...

After hike, Indian MP gets 13 times less pay than US lawmaker

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby svinayak » 22 Aug 2010 03:15

kasthuri wrote:One of the crappiest article in TOI that I came across today...

After hike, Indian MP gets 13 times less pay than US lawmaker

THey are trying to create a similarity to an outside country when it is irrelevant. The outside country is a totally different economy at a different level and with a diff period of history

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 24010
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby SSridhar » 30 Aug 2010 08:00

Jarita wrote:^^^ But Bdutt does not drive NDTV and content. There are other people driving it - namely P Roy and a host of investors etc.
Bdutt may have a personal slant but it would not be allowed to blatantly reveal itself without the buy-in of all the other stakeholders. Just like Pakistan, Bdutt is both actor and proxy.

Jarita, you are correct about the media forces that act against Indian interests, especially in J&K. My take is that a media group attracts people with a certain mindset that more or less is on the same wavelength as the owners. Take the case of The Hindu, for example. Then, there are other employees who have no option but to go with the management's thinking because they have to earn their wages and take care of a family. Occasionally, these media groups will also publish a few contrarian points from well known personalities (like The Hindu carrying articles by Subramaniam Swamy) to put up a pretense of their neutrality.

Anindya
BRFite
Posts: 1539
Joined: 02 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Anindya » 30 Aug 2010 08:09

Also, SS+Jarita - how much control an employee has depends upon seniority and the organization. I have seen senior editors join an organization and change the direction of the media outlet. Similarly, I expect that as managing editor may have significant say on the themes/initiatives, she decides to track and create.

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 24010
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby SSridhar » 30 Aug 2010 09:17

Anindya, in the case of Ms. Dutt, she has consistently espoused a line of thought that was not likely to be beneficial to the country. I am putting it mildly.

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 22851
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby chetak » 30 Aug 2010 10:08

aaaaaaannnnd, SEBI jumps into the fray!!


http://www.deccanherald.com/content/918 ... orted.html


Disclose interest in cos being reported
Bangalore, Aug 27, DHNS:

Next time if you see a disclaimer at the end of a report in newspapers or television news channel stating that the reporting media house holds a financial stake in the company that is the subject of the report, don’t be surprised.


The market regulator–Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi)–has just mandated, through a press statement, that print and electronic media entities will have to disclose their interest in the company in question.

The Sebi statement on Friday came in the backdrop of a well-known trend in recent years that has tended to blur the distinction between editorial and advertisement content.
Some media houses (not Deccan Herald) in the country in both print and electronic segments have picked up significant financial stakes in a large number of companies which are listed in the stock market or are in the process of making public issue of shares.

The purpose of such deals, known as “Private Treaties,” has been a mutually beneficial business proposition: promote partner companies by giving positive media coverage (articles, pictures, news coverage and interviews, etc.), enhance their market value and in the process, also boost the valuation of own stake in the company. The other side of the deal is the assured advertisement revenue from such “client” companies who also get advertisement spaces at discounted rates.
But Sebi now wants such private deals made public so that the unsuspecting readers and viewers are better informed.

The market regulator has now mandated that all media reports must disclose the media house’s interest in their Private Treaty companies in the news report whenever it appears and also give a complete list of stake holding in the private treaty companies on the media house’s website.

Sebi in its release said: “Sebi had taken up with Press Council of India its concerns on practice of many media groups entering into agreements, such as ‘Private Treaties’, with companies. Typically, such arrangements are with companies which are listed or which proposes to come out with public offerings. These, in general, entail a company giving stake in it (shares, warrants, bonds etc.) in return for media coverage through advertisements, news reports, advertorials etc. in the print or electronic media.”

Though these are financial arrangements between two parties, Sebi has concluded that such acts can lead to misinformation to the gullible investors who are not a party to it. “It was felt that such agreements (treaties) may give rise to conflict of interest and may, therefore, result in dilution of the independence of press. Such biased and motivated dissemination of information, guided by commercial considerations can potentially mislead investors in the securities market,” Sebi stated.

One of the English dailies in the country, for example, on its website on Private Treaties has boasted that it currently has 134 companies under 19 industry groups as its treaty partner.

Vasu
BRFite
Posts: 868
Joined: 16 Dec 2002 12:31

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Vasu » 30 Aug 2010 13:52

So I take it we are continuing with this thread.

More on the SEBI norms in the editorial in The Hindu

SEBI gets it right

By obliging the Press Council of India to issue guidelines making such disclosures mandatory, SEBI is not only protecting investors from being misled by the coverage. It has also taken the cause of media accountability a significant step forward. From now on, such disclosure would have to be made in any “news report/article/editorial in newspapers/television relating to the company in which the media group holds such stake.”

It is unfortunate that the Press Council, a statutory body mandated to protect the freedom of the press as well as to maintain and improve its standards, has taken a whole year after it received SEBI's “suggestions” to issue a press release on “Guidelines concerning mandatory disclosure by the media of its stake in corporate sector.”


Marten, thanks for the link. Had no idea that such a practice had assumed such 'legitimacy'!

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 25 Oct 2010 18:32

http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?267554

Why I Quit The Media
A mega sellout! Journalism outspaced, it was time to put my pen down.
SUMIR LAL

India’s Historysheet

Bengal Gazette was the first Indian newspaper. It was printed by James Augustus Hickey on January 29, 1780, at Serampore near Calcutta.
Bombay Herald was the first newspaper to appear from Bombay in 1789
Samachar Darpan in Bengali was the first newspaper in an Indian language. Its first issue rolled out on May 23, 1818.
Oodunt Marthand was the first Hindi newspaper that appeared in 1826
Bombay Samachar was the first Gujarati paper. Printed on July 1, 1822, it is still in existence.
***

The Indian media formally abdicated from duty that morning in the early 1990s when the Times of India (TOI) threw aside any remaining pretences and put up for sale its own 150-year-old masthead. Readers were greeted with their trusted newspaper proclaiming “Let The Times of India Wait”—an advertiser had been lured to pay for the additional words, with a pointer to the page where the actual advertisement was placed. The Times of India had just done some straight talking: forget the news, the journalism, the matters of public interest; go directly to the ads because that’s the real purpose of your newspaper. More deliberately, it said, everything that the toi name embodies—credibility, integrity, impartiality—is available for a price.

Samir Jain knew his times if not his Times. He took over his father’s company in 1982, and spent the 1980s remaking Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCLl) into a ferociously aggressive and innovative marketing company. He had sensed the zeitgeist, and was perfectly poised when the liberalisation reform in 1991 unleashed a new Indian with money to spend and immediate desires to gratify. His business proposition was simple: he would connect sellers of goods to this vast market of consumers. To corral and expand this market, he did not need distractions like news journalism, but marketing strategies like undercutting and brand-building. BCCL and TOI have laughed all the way to the bank ever since. Awestruck and lemming-like, Samir’s generation of proprietors has aped his every move, so that today the Indian media industry has unapologetic clarity about the nature of its business: it sells the media platform to commercial clients, not news to readers.

With proprietors not interested in selling what good journalists produce, the crisis in India is not one of the media industry, but of the profession of journalism.


http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?267555

News is meant to be objective, fair, unbiased and neutral—this is what sets apart such information and opinion from advertisements that are paid for. In recent years in India, the distinction between news and advertisements has been sought to be deliberately blurred if not obliterated altogether.



If journalists arrogate to themselves the right to criticise all sections of society, they should not shy away when the microscope is turned on them.



http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?267556

Today, the media is in crisis; but that is not unusual, and it may not be a bad thing. The churning marks a moment of creativity. Anxiety about the state of the press indicates that people in India care about what newspapers, magazines, TV channels and websites are doing and thinking, which is not the case in countries with a less vigorous public debate. Now, Indians face further problems—trivialised reporting, predatory press owners and stories that are paid for by politicians and others.


http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?267557

A very interesting read...

INTERVIEW
“Our Paper Isn’t For Our Editors. It’s For People.”
The CEO of media colossus Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL) on brand-building, media ethics, controversies and critics
ANJALI PURI INTERVIEWS RAVI DHARIWAL


You must be aware of SEBI’s guidelines—that when you publish stories about companies you have private treaties with, you must state clearly how much of their equity you hold.

We have been doing that, for the last two years. We don’t have to state it in every story. We have written to SEBI, pointing out that the moment you tell a journalist that you have equity in this or that company, you are biasing him, either positively or negatively. We don’t want to bias our journalists :roll: . But if a reader is interested, we direct the reader to the relevant websites where we have disclosed this information. :roll:

That’s a cumbersome process.

If it’s an IPO, if it is price-sensitive information that SEBI should be bothered about, we always disclose a private treaty. But disclosing it in every article is unrealistic. A paper is put to bed at 11 pm at night, and we have 500 private treaty clients. Is a journalist going to keep on checking in the short time available whether we have a private treaty with this or that company?


http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?267561

Business comes first, journalism a poor second. Television networks, except of course for Doordarshan, are involved in frenetic ratings wars, underscoring that advertisers come first and the news is a vehicle to attract the ratings they are hankering after. Most channels seem to think the best way to win the ratings war is to out-shout your competitors. Mind you, NDTV’s recent advertisements that it’s winning the ratings war (and consequently doesn’t need to shout) indicate that the channel has discovered many viewers who don’t like their news at a high-decibel level.

RamaY
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17249
Joined: 10 Aug 2006 21:11
Location: http://bharata-bhuti.blogspot.com/

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby RamaY » 25 Oct 2010 19:19

kasthuri wrote:One of the crappiest article in TOI that I came across today...

After hike, Indian MP gets 13 times less pay than US lawmaker


An average Indian (percapita GDP) makes ~30times less than average US citizen.

Perhaps Indian MP salary must be proportional to India's per capita income levels.

SaiK
BRF Oldie
Posts: 36415
Joined: 29 Oct 2003 12:31
Location: NowHere

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby SaiK » 31 Oct 2010 21:18

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101031/ap_ ... ell_phones

Now, this is from yahoo, and a desi named Ravi Nessman !. I have been seeing lot of ant-India articles with increased vigor from yahoo since CWG games.

Rahul Mehta
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2577
Joined: 22 Nov 2001 12:31
Location: Ahmedabad, India --- Bring JurySys in India
Contact:

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Rahul Mehta » 01 Nov 2010 07:22

Unpaid news a fantasy of (foolish) idealist on cocaine. There can be no such thing as unpaid news. Just as idealist on cocaine fantasize about free education, free medicine, free clean drinking water, some idealist who take too much cocaine start fantasizing about world with unpaid news.

ALL news are paid news. Sometimes, rarely, when newspaper doesnt have enough paid news to fill all pages, it will print unpaid news, but they will be always of "cat ate dog, and then rat ate that cat" type useless sensational news. IOW, when ALL news are paid news, and when some unpaid news come as space fillers, they will be only garbage.

Why? ToI + AM in Ahmedabad sells for Rs 3 of which ToI gets only Rs 2.20 . And the newsprint alone perhaps costs Rs Rs 5 to Rs 7 atleast. Printing will be another Rs 2 to Rs 4. And to that, add electricity bill, petrol and salary of journalists. It add to well beyond Rs 15 per copy. In theory, they will earn the difference from advertisement. But "sponsors" i.e. large scale newsbuyers pay more than advertisers. Further, sponsors dont ask them to lie, they only ask them to hide truth selectively.

Solution is TRIVIAL - improve Doordarshan, by enacting Right to Recall DD CEO. Later, each State can be asked to start its own TV channel, and there should be RTR over that state's channel's CEO as well. Next GoI/GoStates should also start a newspaper with its heads recallable by citizens. With RTR over heads, the new TV channels and newspapers will become a TRUE citizens' media. Next, these newspapers and TV-channels should be banned from taking advertisements. This way, we will have "tax paid news" i.e. "news paid by citizens", better than existing "news paid by elitemen".

Above is the solution I propose. What solution do YOU all propose?

.

Vikas
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6828
Joined: 03 Dec 2005 02:40
Location: Where DST doesn't bother me
Contact:

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Vikas » 01 Nov 2010 13:18

^^ Rahul Mehta, How would RTR for DD CEO help ? We have right to kick out our Legislatures every 5 years, but are we seeing any improvement in the quality ? Absolutely No.
DD News also puts a spin in favor of Govt of the day (or simply go silent on any inconvinent news) and anyways you can't compare print news with TV news.
Solution is simple - If you feel that the news is Paid, then don't buy TOI or any other newspaper. Personally I have stopped buying Hindu and ToI and totally boycott all NDTV channels.
Guess in democracy, you have the right to say NO.
Next, these newspapers and TV-channels should be banned from taking advertisements.
As per your own calculations, copy of a newspaper would cost around Rs.15. How do you plan us commoners to buy such a costly newspaper everyday ?

Rahul Mehta
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2577
Joined: 22 Nov 2001 12:31
Location: Ahmedabad, India --- Bring JurySys in India
Contact:

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Rahul Mehta » 01 Nov 2010 15:01

Vikas Raina: Rahul Mehta, How would RTR for DD CEO help ? We have right to kick out our Legislatures every 5 years, but are we seeing any improvement in the quality ? Absolutely No.


RTR (Right to Recall) has been discussed at length in many threads, and it has been PROVED that RTR is far far more effective than elections, as in (election minus RTR), person is secured for 5 years and so he takes bribes with peace in mind. Whereas via RTR, he can be expelled any day. Also, when I say RTR, it includes a package consisting of RTR, Narco Test in public by Majority Vote, Confiscation of Wealth by Majority Vote, Imprisonment by Majority vote and Execution by Majority Vote. To save space, I only write "RTR" rather than full long sentence consisting of 4-5 related procedures. These procedures will ensure near zero corruption. We can discuss them in Neta-Babu-judge thread.

===

DD News also puts a spin in favor of Govt of the day (or simply go silent on any inconvinent news) ...


Once citizens have RTR (and other procedures I mentioned) over DD CEO, DD CEO will not dare to give spins.


Solution is simple - If you feel that the news is Paid, then don't buy TOI or any other newspaper. Personally I have stopped buying Hindu and ToI and totally boycott all NDTV channels.


The solution is good only for those who have internet. What about 95% who dont have internet?

When a good newspaper comes saying NO to bad newspaper will become easy. eg I have net. So now I spend less than 5 minutes in reading Gujarat Samachar, less than 10 minutes in reading IE and have stopped reading garbage ToI since 2002. And I never read refined garbage with perfume namely Hindu. But that happened AFTER I started getting news from net. Many citizens still cant afford net. Giving a net enabled free mobile and some free hours of internet to ALL is also one my proposals, as that will decrease influence of existing newspapers and TV-channels. But while all that becomes viable, and even after that, we need a GoI media which is less dishonest. This can be attained by RTR etc on DD-DEO.

As per your own calculations, copy of a newspaper would cost around Rs.15. How do you plan us commoners to buy such a costly newspaper everyday ?


For TV-channels, the biggest cost is cost of upload and that be paid by tax-money. As per GoI-owned print newspaper, the newspaper will be small - only 4 pages = 1 sheet. Cost of that paper = Rs 0.60 , cost of printing = Rs 0.40 at most. All families will be forced to buy for Rs 3, Rs 2 and Rs 1 and Rs 0 for this state owned newspaper depending on their income. There will be one newspaper from GoStates as well, and two days in a week, it will be printed by Go-Districts. RTR will ensure that news doesnt have "cat ate dog" type news, has only relevant news.

It is duty of GoI that every citizen does get ALL "relevant" news. I dont support regulation of private media-owners. And GoI cant and must not assume that private media-owners will give relevant news to citizens. And reality is - private media-owners care ONLY for cash and NOTHING else and so a lot of relevant news doesnt reach commons. Solution is a newspaper and a TV-channel subsidized by taxes or "forced-burying" (same as taxes) at different rates.

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 02 Nov 2010 18:13

Rahul Mehta - A model that i like here in the US for it's "objectivity" and that i follow most often for my news is NPR. http://www.npr.org/ , http://www.wnyc.org/ (New York Public Radio)

It has no advertising, it gets a stipend from the government (that does not cover all operating costs).

Thereby it has fundraising drives a couple of times every year from the general public. (pretty irritating but livable, because it takes time away from it's excellent programming). The vast majority of it's funding resources comes from private citizens.

Listen to the Podcast of the Brian Lehrer Show, Wait, Wait - Don't Tell Me, etc for it's intellectual content... and then compare it's journalistic quality to any other news provider in the world!! The quality and the intellectual depth is there for everyone to hear for themselves.

What it does is provide an "objective, non commercial" input to policy makers who in the absence of a source like NPR would otherwise be exposed only to commercial news organizations and their latent biases.

To take a leaf from your thought - how about devolving the Mission Statement of Doordarshan and making it an autonomous news organization along the model of NPR? No dependence on advertisers to run the organization, no profit motive - A mission statement that is pure pursuit of very high journalistic standards unencumbered by any commercial "strings".

Tanaji
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3284
Joined: 21 Jun 2000 11:31

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Tanaji » 02 Nov 2010 18:54

Vikas and Prany, you are making the fundamental mistake of proposing a logical reasoned argument to Rahul Mehta. It does not work that way. The only way he will listen to you is if you halaal yourself on the altar of Jury duty and pay obeisance to the altar of Right to Recall....

Rahul Mehta
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2577
Joined: 22 Nov 2001 12:31
Location: Ahmedabad, India --- Bring JurySys in India
Contact:

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Rahul Mehta » 02 Nov 2010 20:31

Pranay wrote:Rahul Mehta - A model that i like here in the US for it's "objectivity" and that i follow most often for my news is NPR. http://www.npr.org/ , http://www.wnyc.org/ (New York Public Radio) . It has no advertising, it gets a stipend from the government (that does not cover all operating costs). Thereby it has fundraising drives a couple of times every year from the general public. (pretty irritating but livable, because it takes time away from it's excellent programming). The vast majority of it's funding resources comes from private citizens.


I dont have anything to say on anything in US. But in India, I am against Govt giving stipend to any PRIVATE companies.

To take a leaf from your thought - how about devolving the Mission Statement of Doordarshan and making it an autonomous news organization along the model of NPR? No dependence on advertisers to run the organization, no profit motive - A mission statement that is pure pursuit of very high journalistic standards unencumbered by any commercial "strings".


Making it "autonomous" = autocratic doesnt serve interest of citizens. eg judges in India are autonomous = autocratic. This only made them more corrupt and more ruthless. The universities are autonomous = autocratic. So vice chancellors are mostly corrupt to core. Making DD autonomous will make DD CEO no different from SC-Cj -- corrupt to core. Solution is to enact divide DD into several companies - each company having 2-3 channels and each CEO be recallable by citizens. Recall would reduce corruption and so they will start attending to relevant news.

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 03 Nov 2010 19:28

Rahul Mehta wrote:Making it "autonomous" = autocratic doesnt serve interest of citizens. eg judges in India are autonomous = autocratic. This only made them more corrupt and more ruthless. The universities are autonomous = autocratic. So vice chancellors are mostly corrupt to core. Making DD autonomous will make DD CEO no different from SC-Cj -- corrupt to core. Solution is to enact divide DD into several companies - each company having 2-3 channels and each CEO be recallable by citizens. Recall would reduce corruption and so they will start attending to relevant news.


I'm afraid your simplistic equations (autonomous = autocratic, etc.) and labeling whole categories of job specifications as corrupt/autocratic does not stand up to scrutiny.

SaiK
BRF Oldie
Posts: 36415
Joined: 29 Oct 2003 12:31
Location: NowHere

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby SaiK » 07 Nov 2010 08:51

Ravie nessman again.. who is this guy? kick him out of India, as he is creating wrong impressions here

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/obama_asia

Vasu
BRFite
Posts: 868
Joined: 16 Dec 2002 12:31

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Vasu » 11 Nov 2010 18:29

an opinion piece in The Hindu by Sevati Ninan, mainly about the media hyperactivity on Obama's visit, but she also talks about an interview by Ravi Dhariwal, CEO of Bennett Coleman.

Media Matters: Going overboard

Last fortnight the issue of paid news bounced back into public discourse with a long, unapologetic interview in Outlook by Ravi Dhariwal, the CEO of Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd., which publishes the Times of India, Maharashtra Times and other publications. He said the company's paid news scheme, Medianet, only operated in the supplements, not in the main paper, and the supplements and features were not news: “To say that our Education Times is news, or our Delhi Times is news is to change the meaning of news.” But what of the fact that the acronym TNN, for Times News Network is used at the bottom of some of the stories in these supplements? The question was not asked.

Dhariwal also denied categorically assertions which have appeared in The Hindu and in the Press Council report on Paid News which suggest that a Times of India supplement, apart from other BCCL publications, have carried paid news at the time of the Maharashtra elections in 2009. “This is absolute rubbish. We would we take paid news in a Vidharba paper? Why, we could have made thousands of crores by aligning ourselves with major parties like the Congress or the BJP!”

Finally Mr. Dhariwal said that while he was aware of SEBI's (Securities and Exchange Board of India) new guidelines — that when you publish stories about companies you have private treaties with, you must state clearly how much of their equity you hold — he did not see why it had to be stated in every story, and that the Times group had written to SEBI on this issue.


Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 22 Nov 2010 23:13

http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?268071

http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?268082

The Niira Radia - Ratan Tata Dialogue... ala the Radia tapes that were secretly taped...

NR: Yeah, coz he needs an equity partner otherwise he can’t survive with the debts he’s got. His avenues have closed unless he fudges some other things and raises money.

RT: Why isn’t all this exposed?

NR: Ratan, they’re buying up the media. They’re using their buying power with the media. For every ad they place...I can’t tell you the discussions I have had with the media, in particular the Times Group and Dainik Bhaskar—the Aggarwal guys who you met....

RT: Yes...

NR: They say, Niira, every time we do a negative story on them, they withdraw advertising. So, I said, fine, others can also withdraw advertising.... They leverage every dollar of their mediaspend to ensure they don’t get negative publicity. The media is very, very greedy...


http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?268083

N. Radia conversations with Barkha Dutt of NDTV

http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?268084

... conversations with Vir Sanghvi

Rahul Mehta
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2577
Joined: 22 Nov 2001 12:31
Location: Ahmedabad, India --- Bring JurySys in India
Contact:

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Rahul Mehta » 25 Nov 2010 08:35

Nira Radia : Ratan, they’re buying up the media. They’re using their buying power with the media. For every ad they place...I can’t tell you the discussions I have had with the media, in particular the Times Group and Dainik Bhaskar—the Aggarwal guys who you met....

...... They say, Niira, every time we do a negative story on them, they withdraw advertising. So, I said, fine, others can also withdraw advertising.... They leverage every dollar of their mediaspend to ensure they don’t get negative publicity. The media is very, very greedy...


YAWN YAWN YAWN . This is something I have been saying since I arrived on BR in 2000 AD that "every news is a paid news, and every silence is a paid silence". And this includes ALL journalists, all editors, all media-owners including Time Magazine, Newsweek, The Times (UK), ToI, IE, Bhaskar, Vinod Mehta, Shourie, Samir Jain, Agrawal et al. In fact I have been saying this the day I first read newspaper, when I was six years old. All journalists are born paid-news-traders. NaMo rightly used the word "News Traders in Delhi" for all these journalists and ex-journalists. But I really dont see why to worry, as every reader knows that every mediaman is paid-news-trader or a paid-silence-trader. So no reader has an iota of faith in ANY journalist, editor etc. The issue we should focus on is - how we can save Govt Media from this mess.

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 25 Nov 2010 08:59

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 984715.cms

Two high-profile journalists, Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi, whose names figure in the tapes, have also been internet and TV celebrities of sorts. But their images have taken a severe battering online since the Open and Outlook magazines published on their websites the tapes of their separate conversations with corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.

In the tapes, the journalists are heard promising Radia help for her cause of getting A Raja the telecom portfolio again in the UPA 2 government by talking to their Congress contacts. (The tapes can be accessed here and here .)

The tapes, said to be phone taps made by the income tax department, contain conversations that Radia, whose clients include two leading telecom companies, had with NDTV group editor Barkha Dutt and Hindustan Times columnist and advisory editorial director Vir Sanghvi, among others, in the runup to government formation at the Centre in 2009. The tapes are now annexures in a Supreme Court petition filed by lawyer Prashant Bhushan seeking the prosecution of Raja, who was forced to quit as telecom minister a few days ago.

Reacting to the tapes, both Sanghvi and Barkha have described their interactions with Radia as legitimate news-gathering activity. However, this hasn't cut much ice with the online world. The comments posted by netizens on numerous websites give a deep insight into their psychology and show how cyberheroes can be made to bite the dust overnight. Here are some examples of what netizens have been doing:

" Can you please take BARKHA off air " on Facebook has more than 5,000 fans; " I hate Barkha Dutt " has more than 1,500 and " Barkhagate " more than 1,200 fans. " Barkha Dutt: powerbrokering stops here " has more than 300 fans. On Twitter, "#barkhagate" and "Bharka" have been two of the top five trending topics, with about 10 posts every minute on the subject. One frequently retweeted tweet on Wednesday was "Nira Radia grilled for 8 hours when ll Barkha dutt n Vir Sanghvi ll join her in jail?" The top Google search that starts with the word "barkha" is "barkha dutt nira radia", not "barkha dutt" or just "barkha". Then, there are online posts like "we need to teach the media who the real boss is ... we the people". ("We the People" is the name of Barkha's show on NDTV.)

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 26 Nov 2010 02:07

http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?268195

Rant Of A Working Journalist
I, for one, am glad the muck came out. In this age of paid news, blurring of boundaries and unbridled greed, Radia Tapes give us a chance to stop, think and look within
SABA NAQVI

I want to make a few points with the experience of someone who has the experience of covering ruling parties and the PMO at the centre. As a political correspondent we have to develop the ability to get information and cultivate sources without letting them cultivate and use us.

We all collect information from all sources including shady political operators but the line has clearly been crossed in the Radia tapes. As credible journalists we know when to shut down a source or not to take some calls.

There is a defence being offered that at a very high level these journalists had to do all this which we guys who plod along can't understand. Not true, as I can name several scribes who have survived with dignity without imagining they can form cabinets for a lobbyist or even bluffing her into thinking so.

Indeed, politicians have a shrewd idea of journalists who can be converted into camp followers or loyalists or those with a mind of their own and integrity. The latter get both respect and information.

Many of the scribes on tape have defended themselves saying they said nothing about 2G. True, but some of the journos appear to be lobbying for one of the Ambani brothers — one of them seemingly offers to buy judges while another, rather pathetically, informs Radia about the goings on in his office, where she should plant certain stories and so on. All these conversations clearly cross the line of journalistic ethics and norms.

Finally, on the issue of invasion of privacy. In an imperfect world, we have to be grateful for small mercies. True, phones should not be tapped. But in this case Radia was being investigated by the income tax authorities. The 2G Scam story has wide ramifications and the journos appear to "collateral damage" but I, for one, am glad the muck came out. Clearly, it is not my case that all the journos who ever talked to Radia are complicit or complicit in equal degree. But in this age of paid news, blurring of boundaries and unbridled greed, it gives us a chance to stop, think and look within. As journalists many of know we will never be so cosy with a lobbyist. Those who did so and got caught may try to brazen it out but the damage has been done to their reputations.

Even if they are not embarrassed, as their colleague I am both embarrassed for, and shamed by, them. About some issues there should be absolute clarity. Ambiguity will only diffuse the argument.

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 29 Nov 2010 22:39

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?268206

If you depend on just the Times of India or Hindustan Times for your daily news fix, chances are you have missed the story that has put Indian journalism under its fiercest gaze ever. For it turns out that a majority of Indian journalism censors news about its own indiscretions. After Open and Outlook magazine published transcripts of conversations between Niira Radia and high-profile journalists, much of the mainstream media erased the coverage about the controversy. Even the few papers and TV stations that covered the issue in the days to follow did not name names and avoided the meat of the story, hiding behind the sophistry of the transcripts being “unauthenticated”.

Among the few that did, The New Indian Express and Mail Today (it did not name a former editor at the group though) picked up pieces of the conversations and the Deccan Herald carried an editorial on November 22. Among the vernacular papers, Sakshi and Andhra Jyoti in Andhra carried some excerpts. The Malayalam news channel Asianet picked up the story, but the English news channels were deafeningly quiet. CNN-IBN had a show on November 22 that claimed to “break the silence” but neither identified the people involved nor featured the transcripts; instead it pontificated on where to draw the line between lobbying and journalism. G. Sampath, deputy editor at Daily News & Analysis, Mumbai, wrote on his blog, “What is really scary is that, despite living in a ‘democracy’ that boasts of a ‘free press’, if you were dependent only on TV and the big newspapers for the biggest news developments of the day, you would never have known about the Niira Radia tapes, and the murky role of media as political power brokers.”

amit
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4325
Joined: 30 Aug 2007 18:28
Location: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby amit » 30 Nov 2010 11:37

Folks with access to NDTV please tune in.

http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010 ... -on-tapes/

Would be grateful if someone posts some excerpts on what Barkha says in her defence. I'm glad Swapan and Manu will be on the panel.

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 30 Nov 2010 23:44

amit wrote:Folks with access to NDTV please tune in.

http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010 ... -on-tapes/

Would be grateful if someone posts some excerpts on what Barkha says in her defence. I'm glad Swapan and Manu will be on the panel.


Here is the full program ...

http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/b ... rsy/178964


B. Dutt's two pronged self-defense - Running the clock down with inane generalities and going off on a tangent with the singular question asked by the Open Magazine journalist was intellectually disingenuous and not convincing.

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 04 Dec 2010 01:46

http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?703572

Would appreciate it if someone can post the video of this debate...

Just found it !

http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/136422/edi ... ml?from=hp


Tempers ran high and heated exchanges were witnessed as journalists today debated the issue of media ethics in the background of lobbyist Niira Radia's tapped conversation with leading scribes, published by two weekly magazines.

A suggestion by Editors' Guild President Rajdeep Sardesai that the magazines had violated principles of journalism by publishing raw data and his comment that the journalists concerned were guilty of "professional misjudgement" rather than "professional misconduct" came under attack from media persons gathered in the jam-packed lawns of the Press Club here.

The basic principle of seeking a reaction of the journalists concerned was ignored which is "shock and awe" and "bad" journalism by the magazines in question, said Sardesai, also Editor-in-Chief of a leading TV Channel.

Sardesai's comments evoked sharp reaction from several journalists, one of whom, Poornima Joshi of Mail Today, told him, "I find it absolutely disturbing and disheartening that the President of Editors' Guild is not only condoning but also justifying carrying of messages from a corporate to Congress."


Among those who participated in the discussion were Outlook Editor-in-Chief Vinod Mehta, Prasar Bharti Chairperson Mrinal Pande, veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar, Sunil Jain of Financial Express.

Mehta, whose magazine also published part of the transcripts of the tapes, replied to Sardesai saying in major exposes like Watergate and Bofors, response is not taken because evidence in the raw material is "so compelling".

"The journalist is being gullible if he ignores such evidence," he said. On the question of quid pro quo, Mehta said it will be "completely bogus" to believe that the journalists were "stringing on" their source.

"Why will she (Radia) keep on giving information knowing that her instructions were not followed?", Mehta asked.


Neena Vyas of The Hindu cited an incident where a senior BJP leader had asked her to be soft on him in her coverage in exchange for information on happenings in the party.

She also said some senior leaders were using their stakes in television channels to settle their political scores.

"I did not ring him up again," she said adding that tapping that source would have made her life easy but she chose the hard way to get news.

The debate was organised by Editors' Guild, The Press Association, Indian Womens' Press Corps and Press Club of India.

Sunil Jain of Financial Express said the best way of curbing such tendencies among journalists is to "name and shame" them than discussing questions of ethics.

"You need to use your sources and not let the sources use you. These are the first lessons one gets in a journalism school," said Mehta towards the end.

Referring to the defence of one of the journalists justifying her conversations with Radia, he said the claim that political journalists have a special mandate and responsibility compared to "travel journalists", was ridiculous.

He said he did not agree with the suggestion that the episode involved complex and delicate issues saying these were simple and even a beginner in journalism will know that these violated basic tenets of the profession
.


Another video link to the PCI debate... in Governancenow.

http://governancenow.com/news/regular-s ... and-barkha
Last edited by Pranay on 04 Dec 2010 04:16, edited 2 times in total.

Pranay
BRFite
Posts: 1458
Joined: 06 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: The Indian Media - Up for Grabs??

Postby Pranay » 04 Dec 2010 02:14

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11907188

Senior editors in India are considering putting in place systems to ensure ethical practices in journalism.

The move follows a scandal involving high-profile journalists after tapes of revealing phone conversations with an influential lobbyist were leaked.



"Journalists need to exercise their judgement and verify everything that is said by a source. There are no grey areas, it's black and white," Vinod Mehta, editor of Outlook magazine which published the tapes, said.

"Corporate lobbyists represent certain interests which should be clear to everyone."

Mr Mehta was among a number of participants who spoke in a debate held at the Press Club of India.

Rajdeep Sardesai, the editor of the TV channel CNN-Ibn, said: "Let us not overlook the fact that it is the media's unflinching attempts that have exposed these scams. Most of us are doing a very good job.

"This rot is not new - it's been around for three decades at least.

"In this competitive age, access is information which is where the politicians have co-opted the journalists. Corporate India and politicians are subverting the system," he said
.


Return to “Technology & Economic Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests