Yesterday, the Times of India published a story on its front page titled Food Security Act may Raise Prices Globally. This story argues that with the enactment of the Food Security Act, in the event of a drought, India will have to import food from the global market, which will lead to an increase in global food prices. This line of argument is absolutely wrong and only shows the total lack of basic economics knowledge that these reporters have.
Pragoti is pleased to publish an interview with P Sainath, renowned journalist (rural affairs editor of the The Hindu) and an expert on rural affairs, development and media by V Sivadasan, All India Joint Secretary, SFI. The interview is wide ranging and delves on various issues such as democratisation of the media, media priorities, ethical journalism, alternate media, agrarian reporting - all passionately dwelt by Sainath, one of the most accomplished journalists in the country. Ed - a Malayalam translation is attached with the post.
The self-styled 'foremost media conglomerate of India', the Hindustan Times group are doing what the Birlas have been notorious for since their earliest avatar as Birla Brothers in the 1910s. They have launched a large-scale retrenchment of media workers in Hindustan and Hindustan times. In this, they have displyed remarkable 'quality' and innovation', their professed hallmark, in creating an atmosphere of terror and uncertainty. Physical threats, humilation and molestation are all part of the time-tested innovative practices that are supposed to counter the economic crisis.
The Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) has called for a united front of all journalists and press unions for a consorted fight to check the menace of mass coercive dismissals and retrenchments in the newspaper industry in the country and now spreading manifold even in Delhi. Side by side it has called upon the government of India and the Delhi state government to intervene immediately to stall unfair labour practices while the wage board was in motion, or face direct action.
The coverage of the terror attacks showed that when the media becomes a purely business enterprise, news becomes a commodity, serving the interests of the few. It ceases to be the guardian of democracy or the protector of public interest.
NISSIM MANNATHUKKAREN's incisive article on corporate media.The article rightly identifies the role of corporate media in whipping up emotions after the Mumbai terror strike,by airing non-stop outbursts and insensible chants like “enough is enough”.The article also asserts the fact that the same media didn't come up with a similar emotional outcry for the 1.5 lakh farmers who committed suicide in a period of mere eight years and for the travail of many crores of ordinary Indians who still live like worms.
A look at the art of omission that the modern media has mastered and how this completely changes the perspective, especially in a time of crisis.
Ammar Ali Jan of the Labour Party Pakistan raises his voice against the bigotry shown by the Pakistani media in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks. This article was first carried in The News.
There are occasions in history when collective trauma brings a nation intimately in contact with its deepest anxieties. Mumbai 26/11, to use the media shorthand for the horror that began one night in November and carried on for close to three days, was one such. The terrorist attacks that began November 26 and transformed swiftly into a 60-hour long siege of three landmark buildings in India’s commercial metropolis, have deeply transformed the national polity. The true consequences will take a while manifesting themselves.
Watching at least four English news channels surfing from one another during the last 60 hours of terror strike made me feel a terror of another kind. The terror of assaulting one's mind and sensitivity with cameras, sound bites and non-stop blabbers. All these channels have been trying to manufacture my consent for a big lie called - Hotel Taj the icon of India.
The role of the mass media (MM) in influencing mass and class behavior has been a central concern among critical writers, especially since the turn of the Twentieth century. Debates and studies on the MM have focused on its political bias, ownership and links to big business, relationships and ties to the state, relative openness and diversity, promotion of wars and corporate interests among other major issues affecting the relations of power, wealth and empire. Of particular interest to writers opposing and supporting the role of the MM is the impact of the MM in influencing mass outlook, opinions and behaviors. Essays, monographs and empirical studies have been published as to the extent of MM influence, the time frame in which it retains control, the ‘depth’ of loyalty to MM inculcated opinions, and the ‘place’ in which MM messages have the greatest influence in inducing mass opinion in conformity with ruling class interests.
An understanding of the role and power of the MM in contemporary capitalist society requires us to organize the debate according to three major schools – conservative, liberal and Marxist – before proceeding to a critical analysis and finally presenting notes towards setting alternatives to elite-controlled communications networks.