Daily Archives: 11 December 2007

Indians favour stability over press freedom: BBC

Hard to believe but it’s true. “Although Indians are not strong advocates of media freedom and are generally satisfied with the accuracy of news reporting in their country, they are in favour of having a say in newsreporting decisions,” according to a survey done by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to mark its 75th anniversary.

India is only one of the three countries polled—Singapore and Russia being the other two—“where people who believe stability is more important than press freedom outnumber those who believe freedom is more important.” As many as 11,344 people across 14 countries took part in the poll conducted by the international research firms Globescan and Synovate.

Forty-eight per cent of respondents in India felt ensure peace and stability was more important in a society and hence felt controls were needed sometimes. Around 40 per cent Indians expressed the view that press freedom was more important to ensure a fair society. Singapore and Russia, among the countries polled, turned in similar results.

The BBC press release says this about India in toto:

“Forty-eight per cent of Indians (versus 40% globally) put stability first, while 41 per cent (56% globally) put freedom first. A further 11 per cent did not answer this question. In terms of its ability to report the news accurately and without bias, the Indian media is perceived as freer than that of almost any other nation in the survey.

“Seventy-two per cent of Indians give a high freedom rating, compared with 56 per cent worldwide. Only 10 per cent give a low freedom rating, compared with 19 per cent globally. Indians are more positive about the accuracy and honesty of government or publicly-funded news reporting than any other country surveyed.

“Fifty-seven per cent of Indians give a “good” performance rating to public news organisations, compared with 39 per cent globally. Private, for-profit news organisations are viewed more favourably, with 64 per cent rating their performance “good” (versus 43% globally), although this is slightly less positive than the response in Africa.

“Fifty-seven percent of Indians agree that growing consolidation of private media ownership is a major issue “because you often see owners’ political views emerge in the news”, while only 30 per cent agree with the opposing view that “media owners do not interfere with the news content” (14% did not answer).

“Fifty-five percent think “it is important that people like me have a say in what gets reported in the news”, while 33 per cent think “decisions as to which stories get reported in the news are best left to news organisations”, with a further 12 per cent unable to answer.”

Read the BBC press release here: World Service poll

Infographic: courtesy BBC

Crossposted on churumuri


Subs of the world unite. You’ve commas to lose…

On National Public Radio, Laura Conway invites readers to sharpen their red pencils for this paragraph from The New York Times:

Yet deep down in his soul, the transplant will hold on to the notion that umbrellas are to be used only as protection against the rain, which is wet and, when it drenches the clothes and skin, makes one uncomfortable.

Link via truemors

Cricket journalist banned from press boxes

As it is, Indian cricket is a minefield. The team’s best batsmen (Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar) are reluctant to be captain. South Africans (Graham Ford) and Australians (Geoff Lawson) don’t want to be coach. The chief selector (Dilip Vengsarkar) wants to quit because he is not allowed to write his newspaper column. The cricket board won’t allow a top movie star (Shah Rukh Khan) to talk about his movie in a cricket stadium.

Somewhere, a journalist had to get into the act and Ajay Naidu has obliged. The freelance cricket journalist has been banned from entering the press box or press conferences at all units of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Reason: Naidu, while covering the third Test between India and Pakistan at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore, asked the official scorer in the press box to make an announcement allegedly on the basis of a note signed by Russell Radhakrishnan, travel assistant of the Indian team, on Sunday.

The announcement made was, “Rahul Dravid has called for a press conference to announce his retirement from Test cricket.” In actual fact, the announcement went thus, “There will be no press briefing by the Pakistan team, and from the Indian side, Rahul Dravid wants to talk to the media.”

A cricket board press release said: “On enquiry, it was found that Naidu had forged the signature of Russell. The BCCI condemns this act of Ajay Naidu aimed at causing embarrassment to Rahul in the midst of the Test match, and in order that such irresponsible incidents do not occur in the future, it is decided to ban the entry of Ajay Naidu in to the press box or press conference at any of the affiliated units of the Board. We are also advising immediate withdrawal of his accreditation card for all the international matches.”

Naidu sprang into the headlines earlier this year when he “scooped” an interview with Sachin Tendulkar, following India’s early World Cup exit, in which the master batsman lashed out at his commitment being questioned by the former coach, Greg Chappell. That interview appeared in The Times of India.