Media neutrality in India : Problem and solution

media neutrality :POR

The problem:

Whether it is Mr. Rajdeep sardesai on CNN-IBN showing his concerns for performance of Congress party or NDTV news reporters stating their clear preferences for Left in their news items, all are sources of worry for neutral functioning of media. Media which is by its very name, not supposed to favor one party or another, seems to loosing its way. All the media persons we are discussing here are very senior reporters and thinkers as such. But problem to separate fact from the personal values and preferences is looming large on media as a whole.

It is not the first time that we are talking about media neutrality. In the era of print media also, this problem was there, but I think immediate attention is needed in time of TV channels as
1. TV channels have/ have potential to have larger reach to masses.
2. TV reporting is more assuring to viewers than readers of a news paper hence can be more misleading also.
3. News papers are essentially read by educated class, whereas TV news is watched by everyone alike.

This is like controlling the thought process of entire nation. It can not be permitted, at least the privilege given to media to have first hand information in every situation should not be misused to propagate one particular side of any story.

The solution:

So, when watching a news item on TV, viewers should be told clearly, what is the fact (hard fact) and what is personal views of a reporter. The mixing of two is quite frequent in modern TV channels. (remember old Doordarshan news, they were boring, but still facts only) I know that it is hard, almost impossible to separate a person’s own views from his/her presentation, but some efforts should be made.

It should be left on the viewers to interpret the news in their own way. Even if any channel agrees with the interpretation or not. Though I know that huge uneducated or educated-numbs are there in Indian society, who can not interpret the news by their own or can interpret in a very wrong manner. But that is democracy dear, triumph of mediocracy!

A very traditional and working solution to this problem is used by print media
– use of editorial page. Whole news paper would be hard fact (ideally) and personal views, ideologies of editors would be posted in editorial page. This way reader is free to agree or disagree from views of editor and still can use the news paper as a source of information. Similarly news channels can start a “fact-only-news-hour” in prime time and rest of the time they can show/discuss whatever they want. It is their money/mind/manpower after all.

But please do not misuse the privilege given to media by government and society and trust shown by masses for personal ideologies. This is one of the many reasons people are getting attached to personal blogs like POR than news channels. Hell, we propagate our ideas but we do tell everybody that it is personal view, you are most welcome to disagree.

22 thoughts on “Media neutrality in India : Problem and solution

  1. Unfortunately for BJP, it is a self-inflicted injury. They claim to be a party with difference, and hence media wanted the party to play by it’s rules, what an irony!

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  2. @Smitha,
    In a way, I think you are right. The BJP did begin with better standards than the Congress, the Communists, and the other Socialist parties, and they were not shy of exhibiting their superiority. However, the media did go out of the way to batter Hindutva and other Indic values (bashing Indic values is in the name of `progressive values’). The painful irony of the BJP’s better behaviour is that Congress indulging in atrocious behaviour is condoned because it is `the Congress way’, but any deviation by the BJP is portrayed in the worst light.

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  3. hey guys bjp is a pArty with a difference.it has much less
    corruption,dynasticism and far more development performing ministers and it does not win based on negative voting islamic votebank that only cares about heaven,namaz and congress can do loot and jhuth and do nothing.EVEN AFTER INFLATION,RECESSION,CORRUPTION SCAMS, TERROR BALSTS,upa won with corrupt cec and prez in place.AS long as there are stupid indians like smitha and to an extent maidros who dont have analytical skills,india is doomed.YOur logic is like sachin makes zeroes and so does balaji when batting.SO both are bad.NOT all students get 100 % or all questions right.ALL students get some questions wrong,so both 90 % right and 10% right are same.BJP is as much entitled to say it is better than others as the 90 % student is even if he gets 10 % WRONG.man ashamed to be an indian with nonanalytical educated voters like this.even villagers have more sense

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  4. maidros the raeson bjp is portrayed badly by media is because media is bribed in cash and kind by congress and media also has busines interests in arabia and pakistan and
    christian owners who are pro conversion.GEt it.how much brains does this need.indians are cowards and weak,do they have to be stupid and gullible too,especially the so called english educated ones.I Am pained and ashamed that the level of awareness and analysis is so low.congress has been fooling people for 60 yrs and no wonder india is still without even water and power.GO watch cricket and movies.thats all u guys like smitha and maidros are good for

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  5. @Praveen
    Calm yourself. In no way am I condoning the media behaviour. And you are right about the media being extremely partisan (whether it is because of vested interests, or because of external pressure is immaterial). But there is the fact that there is nothing preventing the BJP from having its own TV channel. They could go out and play the same game the Congress is playing. The BJP is not being pro-active enough in countering the Congress’ propaganda and that is the main fault of the BJP.

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  6. When NDA Was in Power, RSS Should Have Launched A News Channel in English, Hindi and Also In Regional Languages such as : Marathi,Bengali,Telugu,Tamil,Kannada,Gujarati,Orissa,
    Malayalam, Assamese, Punjab,Kashmiri(in Jammu Region)
    And Also, Region Specific News Channels in Hindi Speaking Areas Like News Channels specifically for UP & Uttaranchal,Bihar,MP,Chattisgarh,Rajasthan,Haryana & HP,Delhi

    I seriously Dont understand Why RSS Didnt took That Initiative. Such Channels would have Exposed the true Nature of Evangelicals and Jehadis, Psuedo Secularists which are Extremely Fascist in Their Ideology.

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  7. MAIDROS,i am sorry but i have little patience with anyone giving congress an advantage against bjp,despite bjp being like 5 5 adulteated water unlike congress cesspool of shit
    which has ruined country for 60 yrs. despite jhuth and loot and jihad of 60 yrs aginst india.i reacted because your tone was calm and namby pamby.When there shud be outrage and angerPEOPLE LIKE SMITHA ARE TRAITORS PERIOD due to gullibility,stupidity ignorance or sheer motive of marriage or a muslim boyfriend like barkha teesta, ibn suhasini.MuslIM BOYS MARRY HINDU GIRLS FOR JIAHD AND the girls act out of emotional loyalties for jiahd.This is unpardonable an smitha is afraid to rebut.I WULD NOT BE SURPRISED IF THE EVMS WERE TAMPERED IN CLOSE SEATS WITH COLLUSION by cec WITH UPA RULE STATES WHICH ESCAPED ANTIINCUMBENCY.congress strademark is using cec,prez specially appointed just like they did with jharkand,goa bihar governors,ntr ama rao 84,emergency cbi etc

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  8. Hi All,
    Its absolutely true that CNN-IBN and NDTV channels are Christian based and the whole channels get their fund from foreign Christian trust and their main job is to suppress the growth of BJP in India and pave the way for congress to form the government, so that the Christians organization convert the Hindus into Christians with out any problem.. Its very interesting in the NDTV or CNN IBN, they call Kabil sibil for Congress and a unknown person from BJP for a debate on any issues. And Obviously the BJP person cant defend to their Skills. And if Advani calls for any debate, our so called PM Dr.Singh wont accept and come for debate.. Very pathetic… And I will assure if this continue India will be definitely a developing country in the upcoming years also. Wont be Super power at any cost..

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  9. And Dear Ram, when mms and sonia decline to come for open debate on governess with LK Advani, the media supports the decision of congress leaders instead of criticizing them

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  10. toi headline reads advani blames gujarat results.this is what advani actually said.(see how media spins lies to attack modi in this case).

    Speaking about the party’s poor show, Advani said, “We have to find out why our performance was poor in states like Rajasthan, UP, Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Orissa. We also have to find out why we won less than the expected number of seats in states such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.”

    24-7 el MEDIA is plotting against bjp and favoring congress while posing as media,when they are congress and islamic propagandists and frauding gullibles.eg they linked ramsene to bjp even if rs was contesting elections against bjp.there are thousands of such examples in last 20 years.they blame modi for gujarat when thousands of riots have taken place under congress.So also they blamed bjp for kandahar and created family pressure on tv when congress agreed with bjp at the time to save lives.but in 26-11 they blamed all politicians and dragged in bjp’s naqvi for an accurate lipstick comment on page-3 socialites like mediabarkha dutt friend shobha de as if 26-11 was caused by that naqvi comment.

    Speaking about the party’s poor show, Advani said, “We have to find out why our performance was poor in states like Rajasthan, UP, Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Orissa. We also have to find out why we won less than the expected number of seats in states such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.”

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  11. Praveen,
    Completely accepting your thoghts… The there is no neutrality as far as the Media is concerned. The SIT(Special investigating team)submits its report. The key thougths of the reports ia as follow,

    The SIT also found no truth in the following incidents widely publicised by the NGOs:

    * A pregnant Muslim woman Kausar Banu was gangraped by a mob, who then gouged out the foetus with sharp weapons

    * Dumping of dead bodies into a well by rioteers at Naroda Patiya

    * Police botching up investigation into the killing of British nationals, who were on a visit to Gujarat and unfortunately got caught in the riots.

    For more details,please go through the follwoing link,
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4396986.cms

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  12. The need of the hour is honesty of the media- more important than neutrality. Unfortunately, all media programmes (whether

    news or discussion or any other,) are just advertisements.

    (i) Openly (or honestly) media can tell the viewers who has shown interest in flashing every programme. In other words,

    finacier of the programme may be revealed.

    (ii) Govts can ban a channel from flashing a particular type of programme, if the channel has shown poor performance in a

    specific type of programme. For example, a channel which has predicted election results with very poor accuracy must

    bedisallowed conducting/ flashing such programme.

    (iii) A channel or paper, if found flashig lies/ incorrect information in news bulletin, must immediately banned from

    telecasting / publishing news. Those channels/ papers should be allowed to continue as entertainment media only.

    (iv) Media personnel must be fixed a minimum qualification so that they are sufficiently intelligent knowledged and

    disciplined. At present most of the news and media men are school drop-outs holding some certificate or degree from

    unrecognised institutions.

    (v) Government should moniter if pressmen are adequately qualified. Government should designate accreditted pressmen even

    before they are employed in media and insist that only accreditted pressmen should be employed as media persons etc. For this

    monitering, a centralised organisation like UGC/ AICTE/ AMC etc who check the quality of educational inastitutions, even if

    they are self-financed.

    A tail piece: Just couple of days back some media have “invented” that admissions are done in self-financed institutions

    purely on the basis of capitation fees. Now only media came to know admission is auctioned like tea-auction or being sold

    like banana in a petty shop!

    Oh Lord! Let my country awake!

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  13. ram,the sit chief was recently invited by ndtv to discuss ragging,if i recognized his photo correctly.(i have boycotted elmedia by browsing for only the must see because i abhor these mafia posing as media and dont want to contribute to their business-trps)

    my concern is media is befriending this guy knowing he is sit chief.THEY did the samething with justice khare of sc who then played to the gallery with his nero comment when sc itself is the biggest nero seeing the state of justice in india.the samething happened to lyndgoh and gopalaswamy
    .narcissistic media attention is sufficient bribe to sway the head of these namby pamby guys,and play to the gallery.

    khare joined the padmasri list of congress pals rajdeep,barkha,teesta,mfhusain,khare

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  14. neutral c is so naive.congress heads the government and corrupts all institutions eg cbi,cec,prez,awards like padmasris and will say jai ho to india being the most corrupt bureacracy in asia which pretty much means whole world.it will sing jia ho to slumdog and this gold medal in corruption.

    no wonder india cant win a gmedal in olympics and is so backward and there are million gullible and unawre like neutral

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  15. Guys bit ot.

    there must have been a heavy manipulation by The congress in elections, for example if you look at AP results congress got around 158 seats in AP Assemebly which is around 10 more than required majority of 148, but when it comes to Loksabha seats it is a complete sweep by the Congress which got more than 30 seats.
    if people are so much liked the Congress party how come they didn’t vote for a complete sweep for Congress.

    and also if you look at some of the seats lost by the Congress party in AP, the PCC president D.Srinivas who is not in good terms with CM YSR Reddy lost the election, it is same with most of the state’s ministers, YSR ensured that most of the misters from Telangana area to lose the elections.

    so Swapanda the first issue to be raised by every one is election manipulation of Congress party which is closley aligned with election along with media support.

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  16. great work msr.just my view.

    india has a fundamental right to know evms are tamper proof.all upa ruled states escaped anti-incumbency.congress has done so much cheating for power before eg jharkand goa bihar governors,abusing cbi,cah for vote in parliament.

    they chose cec and prez specially for 2009 and the other 2 ecs are typical babus with one being a communal muslim which most muslims are.

    upa cms can easily collude with ec guys

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  17. spraed the word by posting on other sites and asking others to email it to as many.

    what is the point in voting if congress eec is going to manipulate it.

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  18. Unfortunately, the news channels have to take a view. If they simply give dry facts they cannot market themselves.

    Moreover, a news channel is not just a medium of information. It is a medium of expressing one’s opinion. It does not have to be stated explicitly. It is a known fact.

    Think of how many freedom fighters had their own newspapers started to propagate their ideas. And were they not biased. They had ideas which forwarded only the Indian struggle for independence. Even if one was to start a fact-only-news-hour as you say, news channels would give only those facts which forward their ideas.

    It is neither possible nor desirable to censor news items in a democracy like India.

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  19. Media in india is totally biased and is not worth watching a single minute. They tend to misrepesent every single incident and fact. I am from AP and after 2004 several channels have comeup with the slogan of better society ,responsible reporting etc etc blaming that the then existing ETV is biased to the then ruling TDP. But only within one year of their existence these people from middle class backgrounds working tasted power and money and luxury and soon turned to stogepegions and toadies. Now after five years of their existence there are almost nine to 12 of them. where as five get most of the TRP viewings. But viewers feel ETV about which we complained as being biased now looks much fair than these out and out toady chanels.
    Sakshi TV is owned by son of Congress CM so u can guess what to expect
    But NTV and TV9 , in their greediness for lands and contracts have become bigger toadies of congress. Quite of a few of the important people at these channels are said to ahve amassed close to 50 to 100 crores each. Sometimes Saskhi channel looks like more fairer than these two channels. So one can simply see how biased these channels have become. In fact Tv5 is pro TDP but it cant be so baised i think bcuz congres is in power and they dont want trouble.

    Now it seems ETV and ETV2 are more fair and unbiased in reporting than all these biased channels like TV9, NTV, TV5, a to z tvs.

    I think all concerned people should fight for the establishment of an independent authority to put a check on the illegal ways and means of these media people.

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