Archive for April 20th, 2009

Is Indian media in denial on Indian recession?

20 April 2009

P. Sainath, the Magsaysay Award-winning rural affairs editor of The Hindu, writes in today’s paper:

“At least two major newspapers have informed their desks that the word “recession” is not to be used in connection with India. Recession is something that happens in the United States, not here. The word stands exiled from the editorial lexicon. If a rather disastrous situation has somehow to be indicated, the term “downturn” or “slowdown” will suffice — and it is to be used with some discretion. But not recession….

“Now many of the publications and channels into this kind of evasion have also been laying off employees in droves, including several journalists. Those poor souls (many with large home loan EMIs contracted when the economy was in even less of a “downturn” than it is now) are losing their jobs because of — well, whatever.

“Imagine you were one of them, working at the desk, filtering copy for your readers to reassure them that all is well. In the evening, you’re exorcising the columns of the ghosts of recession. Next afternoon, you find you are a victim of what you’ve purged. The hypocrisy of the media in acting the opposite of what they tell their audiences is the reality — gee, that’s part of business strategy. Scare the public and there will be less spending. Which means less advertising, less revenue, less etc.”

Read the full article: No issues: a recession of the intellect

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