Media Requires Introspection.. and a Citizen Watch Dog

Free Media is considered an important pillar of Democracy. Ever since India faced the Emergency in 1975 when publications like Indian Express protested the Censorship through blank editorials where publications like Times of India went along with the Government, the differential approach of different media houses has come to the knowledge of discerning public.

But with the passage of time, the  commercialization and politicization of media houses has been on the increase. Even the loyalty of media to political ideologies have also changed significantly during the last few decades since emergency.

Indian Express is today no longer the beacon of virtue. HINDU is mostly pursuing anti-Hindu agenda. Times of India is more commercial than ever before. The role of the TV media has grown so much that today, print media has become irrelevant when it comes to shaping public opinion. On the TV, South Indian observers are exposed mainly to the  top five English News channels namely NDTV, TIMES NOW, CNN-IBN, India Today and News X. The viewership of regional news channels is fragmented and cater only to regional aspirations. Their role in National scene is more as a follower of other English channels.

Each of these channels have their own issues on conflicts of interest with owners and anchors affiliated to different political parties and leaders.

As a result, it has become necessary for public to assimilate any news published in these channels with a huge pinch of salt. It would not be in appropriate to tag each channel and the anchor with a political ideology and interpret the news accordingly.

This forum which was active from time to time would like to express its views on various issues that are in debate at a point of time.

As a matter of disclosure, the undersigned is having a bias  towards BJP ideology because no other political party appears to deserve support for one reason or the other. Individually the author has been pro-Indira Gandhi at one time, anti-Indira Gandhi later, Pro-Rajiv Gandhi, anti V.P.Singh and neutral to most others, until the current breed of Congress politicians emerged with people like Mani Shankar Iyer and Digvijay Singh as spokes persons and Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi at the helm.

However, this forum will actively comment on the media in the coming days only with a view to expose their double speak and bias. The objective is to bring back the relevance of media as a pillar of democracy rather than as a mouth piece of various political parties.

I hope the media anchors introspect on where their credibility is heading for and why the yesterday’s leader like NDTV is today languishing behind while some of the new entrants are gaining respect and TRP.

At the time of this writing, India was ranked 136 out of 180 nations worldwide in terms of press freedom in 2015.  In terms of Ranking of English News Channels, Times Now is leading the pack followed by NDTV, India Today, and CNNIBN in that order. We shall watch the changes in TRP and how they may be linked with the coverage which we may like or dislike.

I look forward to the support of public in contributing their views in such a manner that this AIFON.ORG.IN will emerge as a media watch dog which can help viewers of different TV channels from being deliberately mislead by the anchors more loyal to their vested interests than even the country.


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