The Indian Express television critic Shailaja Bajpai recently mooted the idea of “equal coverage” (a la the United States) to remove the growing distortion of news TV coverage of contemporary politics.
“Indian media especially TV channels, will have to behave more responsibly in its coverage of the 2014 parliamentary elections, because the race this time is becoming more ‘leader-based’ rather than based on political parties.
“The channels will have to be careful and work harder in order to keep the campaign story balanced and objective and avoid showing their bias towards one leader or the other.
“This becomes even more crucial amid rumours that a particular desperate party has already paid huge sums of money to cash-strapped TV channels to twist the coverage in its own favour….
“I was appalled to see that when Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi were addressing their rallies at different locations but at the same time some of the channels were either covering only the Modi rally or covering both rallies on a split screen, the audio of the Gandhi rally was switched off.”
Read the full column: Media and fast-changing politics