Tag Archives: Media

The Ambani brothers, TOI, Medianet & paid news

The “reverse-swing” done on Zee News by Jindal Steel is one of the most intriguing media stories in recent memory.

The steel company says it is suing the Subhash Chandra-owned network for Rs 200 crore for the demand of Rs 100 crore in lieu of advertisements allegedly made by its editors, Sudhir Chaudhary and Sameer Ahluwalia, to not telecast shows in relation to the coal allocation scandal.

In turn, Zee says it will sue Jindal Steel for Rs 150 crore for defaming the network by holding a press conference, releasing a CD containing video evidence of the reverse-sting, and making allegations of extortion against it and its editorial staff.

Meanwhile, The Times of India group, whose business paper The Economic Times and its advertorial supplements like Bombay Times and Delhi Times, were happily mentioned in passing by Chaudhary and Ahluwalia as indulging in “paid news” in the Jindal “reverse-sting” says Zee will hear from them.

Not surprisingly, Times CEO Ravi Dhariwal was on the mat at a CII event on Monday, with Amit Khanna of Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Entertainment saying his company had been asked to approach Medianet by TOI for coverage of an film festival.

The last bit of news, published in the gossip column of the Indian Express on Tuesday, has been happily reproduced by First Post, whose parent organisation TV 18 is now part of the Mukesh Ambani group, as evidence of the “media-corporate war”.

Image: courtesy The Indian Express


‘Media became a prisoner of its own fabrications’

Swapan Dasgupta in The Telegraph, Calcutta:

“In Gujarat, the media were neither disinterested observers nor merely biased against Narendra Modi; they were an active participant. From disseminating ridiculous stories about lack of crowds in Modi’s meetings and overplaying the Patel revolt in Saurashtra to Yogendra Yadav’s self-confessed doctoring of the exit polls, the media took it upon themselves to ensure Modi’s defeat. The suggestion that the English-language media were the worst offender is not true; for purely collateral reasons the Gujarati print media led the charge.

“Media activism ensured that a large section of India switched on to their TV sets last Sunday morning fully expecting the downfall of the man who has been painted as a cross between Hitler and Attila the Hun. The results helped catapult Modi to the national stage as the man who could dare—and win. If it hadn’t been for the media becoming a prisoner of their own fabrications, the impact of Gujarat would have been strictly regional.”

Read the full article: Merchant of victory

How Narendra Modi has bred media cynicism

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi‘s image—whom The Economist this week called a “disgrace”—has been built on the rapid economic development of his State, coupled with his obscene demonisation of the “other” and a distrust of all media that doesn’t support his State-sponsored pogrom of 2002.

Modi walks out of television interviews when questioned about the massacre, terms magazines who point fingers at his human rights record as handmaidens of the rival Congress party, and has generally cultivated the feeling that all journalists who seek to revisit the disgraceful episode are enemies of the State.

Little wonder, cynicism of the media and an incomprehension of its core responsibilities is rampant in the State.

Coomi Kapoor writes in The Indian Express:

“There is an impression in Gujarat that the principal opposition to the chief minister comes, not from his main political rival—the Congress—but from the media. A journalist on an election tour in a village in south Gujarat asked a farmer singing Modi’s praises whom he should speak to get the other point of view.

“‘For that you must go to any TVwallah,’ the farmer responded matter-of-factly. In the media the issue remains the mob barbarism against Muslims in 2002, which was carried out with the active support of government machinery and for which there has been no repentance.”

Illustration: R. Prasad/ Mail Today