Posts Tagged ‘The Almighty’

How to get tomorrow’s news today: an example

29 November 2010

The Indian Express, Ramnath Goenka‘s bludgeon that once drove fear through the hearts of the high and mighty, the corrupt and the crooked, has emerged as a key player in drumming up the defence for Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata Sons, whose conversations with the group’s chief lobbyist Niira Radia, revealed by Outlook* and Open magazines, have put the Tatas’ clean image under a question mark.

The paper’s editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta did a deferential “Walk the Talk” show with Tata sitting in a hotel room in Bombay, an episode that was played endlessly on NDTV 24×7 and NDTV Profit on Sunday, besides giving the interview a two-page spread in the Express (to be continued tomorrow).

On its website, the paper reports that the battered Ratan Tata has moved the Supreme Court against the leak and unauthorised publication of tapes of his conversation, citing right to privacy.

The time the Express report was posted online: 3.20 am.

The time the Supreme Court of India opens: 10.30 am.

* Disclosures apply

Also read: Has Ratan Tata ruined the Tatas’ brand image?

External reading: The Niira Radia tapes and transcripts

‘Media shapes, sexes up, manipulates, distorts’

10 September 2008

Is the media playing with the tiger’s tail? Or is the tiger cub riding the media? In other words, just how much is the media responsible for the Raj Thackeray bogey?

Is the “demonisation” of Thackeray junior entirely the handiwork of sensation-seeking journalists trying to fill up the airwaves in the era of 24×7 news? Is the Maharashtra Navanirman Samithi (MNS) campaign against migrant workers, taxi drivers, and the Bachchan family, “a demon created by the media”?

Yes, say two people who should know.

Exhibit A: K.L. Prasad.

The joint commissioner of police (law and order), Bombay, blames the issue on profusion of reportage. In fact, he says there was “no issue at all.”

“I have a complaint against the media. You people make heroes out of zeroes. I would say, just neglect him [Raj Thackeray]. He will get asphyxia. Channels are constantly repeating the footage. One incident is shown 74 times. This is clearly [a way of] reinforcing it in the mind.”

Exhibit B: Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Longtime Bombay bureau chief of The Hindu, he writes that the media has on three separate occasions missed the woods for the trees and distorted Raj Thackeray’s statements.

Irving Wallace was bang on target in his 1982 novel The Almighty in which the power-hungry media-owner Edward Armstead‘s obsession was to shape the news and then manipulate and control it with disastrous consequences to the world.

“The Indian media’s obsession to shape—or sex up?—a story to its worst distortion has come to the fore. And without anyone even batting an eyelid in concern.

“What further mischief lies ahead? Can we trust the mass media? The reader believes the printed word and sees television, despite its limited depth—or actually, the absolute lack of it—as real because he sees live images….

“The media has lost its head and plunged the region into trouble, jeopardising lives and property by its irresponsibility.”

Cartoon: courtesy E.P. Unny/The Indian Express

Read the full story: How the media created the Raj Thackeray bogey

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,697 other followers

%d bloggers like this: