Posts Tagged ‘Elections 2009’

‘Indian media’s bias ominous for democracy’

30 April 2009

New York City-based human rights and media activist Partha Banerjee, in Counter Currents, detects an eerie similarity behind “the media-supported rise of Rahul Gandhi” as the next potential prime minister of India and the rise of Rajiv Gandhi and his brother Sanjay:

“I must say I’m frustrated to see the rampant bias in favour of the ruling party [in the Indian media]….

“The role of government as well as private media such as Zee TV, NDTV, Star-Ananda, CNN-IBN, The Times of India, etc., along with their many local and regional offshoots, to show extreme bias for parties and candidates of their choice is gravely ominous for democracy.

“”Contrary to the much-touted American media doctrine of a fair and objective reporting—doctrine they always preach but seldom practice—the new Indian media have resorted to an unrestricted, one-sided coverage of the Congress Party and its leaders.

“Sadly, even now during the election times, voters can find nearly no reporting of the fact that a vast majority of Indians still have no access to health care, education, drinking water or electricity. One wouldn’t know that in India, a world-record number of farmers committed suicide because of economic desperation and multinational companies’ forced seed-bank replacements.

“We don’t hear about the destruction of Indian environment and massive pollution and energy crisis. We don’t hear about the extreme lack of women’s rights (sure, we now have more fashion shows and jewelry models on the catwalk!). We don’t hear that India is now the fastest-growing AIDS country (and contrary to Thailand or USA, talking AIDS is still very much a taboo).

“We don’t know that police brutality and abuses on social and religious minorities are abysmal. We’re never told that international organizations have called India as one of the worst countries to protect human rights and promote equality. We’re not reminded that India has seen a massive number of communal riots, big and small, in recent years: not just in Gujarat, Ayodhya or Mumbai. And that our governments have failed miserably to protect us from terrorism.

“And that is why Indian media’s suppression of truth and generous donation to ruling class’s rampant lies are even more worrisome. In their election coverage today, opposition parties find minimal amount of time and importance. Third parties and especially those who have mass support to boycott elections are not given any time at all. Big media have belittled opposition alliances, and brought them to ridicule.”

Read the full article: Incredible India (Elections): Jay Ho!

Also read: How the media misses the woods for the trees

Nobody can accuse BBC of parachute journalism

25 April 2009

A team of 40 BBC journalists from 12 languages began an 18-day tour of India on a special train on Saturday to cover the ongoing Indian elections. The journalists will visit Ahmedabad, Bombay, Patna, Calcutta, Bhubaneswar, Allahabad and Hyderabad. Here, BBC assignment editor Mark Perrow flags off the journey for the cameras.

Photograph: courtesy Rajeev Bhatt/ The Hindu

How the Indian media covered the 2009 poll

25 April 2009

Blogs, internet chats, Jaago Re, Jai Ho!, Lead India, microsites, rock concerts, TV commercials… The 2009 general election has not been short of media noise. But has it really spurred youngsters to shut up and vote? Or is it all blather and brand building with an embedded social message?

Meenakshi Ravi of Al Jazeera‘s media show The Listening Post reports on how the Indian media has covered the world’s largest democratic exercise.

Also read: Sashi Kumar on media in the melting pot

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