On Indian #media in #modi2.


3 Excerpts from an Excellent article in The Hindu, an Old and Reputed (e) Paper. For the complete post, see bottom.

Whatever [the] Indian media is reporting, the opposite is true,” says one Kashmiri journalist. “Editors give directions to field reporters on the kind of soundbites they want from the ground to fit into their studio scripts. People oblige but viewers do not see the security men behind the camera.” ( Emphasis mine. )

On the last morning of October 1984, Rajiv Gandhi was campaigning in West Bengal when a police jeep intercepted his Mercedes to deliver the message: “There’s been an accident in the house. Return immediately to Delhi.” His mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, had been shot at by her Sikh bodyguards in her garden, on the way to a TV interview. As he waited for a helicopter to take him to Calcutta, the Congress General Secretary turned on his transistor radio to get the latest. He tuned in, not to All India Radio but the BBC. The news was not good but that is not the point.

Even in pre-reforms India, when broadcast media was a government monopoly and mouthpiece, a would-be Prime Minister’s first resort of trust was “Auntie”, not mummy’s Akashvani. Thirty-five years on, with 400 private TV news channels, 1,000 newspapers, and 3,000 radio stations, it is a telling commentary on the credibility of the Indian news media ecosystem — in fact, on the theology of “competition” in a free-market economy — that nearly every piece of information which contests the establishment narrative that all is well in Kashmir, has come from a non-Indian source.

Stark contrast in coverage

Here’s a baker’s dozen since the “lockdown” began:

First video of protests, firing: BBC, ‘Al Jazeera’, Reuters;

Number of arrested: AFP, AP, TimeThe New York Times;

Minors among those detained: The Washington Post;

Detenus flown out of overcrowded jails: AFP;

First pellet injury death: ‘Huffington Post’;

Soura, epicentre of resistance: Reuters;

First bullet injury death: France 24;

Beatings, torture: BBC, The Independent;

Harassment, sexual abuse of women: Deutsche Welle;

Civilians forced to chant ‘Vande Mataram’: Foreign Policy;

Doctor detained for speaking of shortage of medicines: BBC;

Hospitals turning into ‘graveyards’: The Wall Street Journal;

Emerging medical emergency: The Lancet editorial.

( Editing: mine ).




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