Tag Archives: Media Barons

One culture’s pinnacle is another’s base camp

Vir Sanghvi in Mint:

“The new Controller of BBC One, England’s top TV channel, is 40. James Murdoch, who has taken over his father’s media interests outside the US, is 34.

“Is this as true of the Indian media scene? Rajdeep Sardesai and Barkha Dutt are young editors of TV channels. But most of their counterparts in the TV and magazine world are over 50. Both Prannoy Roy and Raghav Bahl are far older than Sardesai. On the entertainment side, Kunal Dasgupta (Sony) and Pradeep Guha (Zee) are in their 50s.

“Print does not fare much better; the vast majority of editors are my age (51) or older. Shekhar Gupta, at 50, is probably the most youthful, but N. Ram, Aveek Sarkar, Vinod Mehta, Aroon Purie, Prabhu Chawla, M.J. Akbar, Chandan Mitra and Mrinal Pande are all 50-plus.

“So are both of India’s most powerful press barons. Shobhana Bhartia, vice-chairperson of HT Media Ltd, Mint’s owner, is 50 and Samir Jain, owner of The Times of India, is probably three or four years older.”

Read the full article: Questioning age-old wisdom

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‘Modi has punctured vanity of corporate media’

Sheela Bhatt, managing editor (national affairs), rediff.com, and one of the few journalists who predicted the Gujarat elections accurately, on the strange symbiosis between the media and chief minister Narendra Modi:

“In Gujarat, many people wondered: “Look, how powerful is Modi. He can even defeat the media.”

“Today, the common belief is that the corporate media wields power. And the media, too, has come to believe in its power. But Modi has punctured the vanity of the corporate media. He ignored the media barons. Modi is the first Indian politician to transcend India’s corporate media. The result was predictable. He got so much bad publicity that the people started sympathising with him, concluding that he was a victim of the ‘power-wielding’ media.

“When the media delivered brickbats to Modi, BJP supporters gave him bouquets. His image of being a lone ranger also came in handy for Modi even as the media mauled him with epithets. The common man felt, “The poor fellow—the media is just not allowing him to work for Gujarat’s progress.”

“The Congress’s biggest mistake was to believe the anti-Modi propaganda. Some of it was actually planted by its leaders. They were trapped in their own web when they started believing the so-called logical arguments and not looking at the emotional fervour within the masses.”

Read the full column: Understanding the alchemy of Modi’s victory

Photograph: courtesy rediff.com