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The Corrupt Indian Media

The Corrupt Indian Media

Indian media is the second most corrupt media in the world. It is not a surprise being that Indian media is not acting as the link between the three pillars and maintaining harmony between them for their thorough functioning as dependent yet mutually exclusive pillars and instead is curating news for us (for sensationalism/) based on their engagement rate. Media is known as the fourth pillar of democracy along with the legislature, executive, and the judiciary where inequality, bias, propaganda, and dissonance have crawled deep into the roots of these 3 pillars. In this day and age, India remains divided and the Indian media is only widening the gap between people who stand on the two opposite ends of the spectrum, giving rise to extremely polarised situations and thus, causing tension between people belonging to different religions, caste, gender, and ethnicities. Information autocrats have largely promoted this by manipulating the information according to their requirements.

Holes and misconduct in the structure of Indian Media:

Diverting public attention from important events to protect and secure their ties with the ruling party and promote their propaganda.

The Indian media, rather than being an active watchdog and a bridge between citizens and the government, holding the government accountable for its incompetency and asking questions and demanding answers, chooses to keep the public in the dark.

Yellow Journalism and media go hand in hand where senseless information is blown out of proportion.

The Indian media curates the news and does not deliver it as it is.

It is more about storytelling than about facts and putting the state of matter on the table.

Reluctant to criticism.

Choosing to remain ignorant.

Settling for news that sells instead of essential issues that need to be paid attention to because of political threat and pressure.

Silencing people who stand up and speak the truth has been endorsed by almost all media houses.

‘Corpus of daily news reports from Russia's largest state-owned tv network, they showed that when the news is bad, it is not explicitly censored but framed as being related to global external factors; however, when the news is good, it is systematically attributed to the domestic politicians. Such strategic use of attribution is especially prominent during politically sensitive times and when the leadership is already enjoying popular support. They outlined this as a phenomenon of direct selective attribution and association.’ - The Hindu

Threats to the media:

Defamation laws being misused against truthful, bold journalists. Having an opinion different from the mass of false information seems like a privilege.

Yellow journalism which is gravitating the majority of the population towards cheap, luring, false, exaggerated headlines

What can citizens do?

Outlawing seasoned reporters and yellow journalism, questioning their credibility.

Encouraging independent journalists who are not funded and owned by a member of a political party and thus not compelled to choose to serve for a particular side.

Contributing to rural journalism.

Being careful of your information consumption and putting your knowledge to use, letting your conscience decide, keeping calm, and taking the right steps concerning the information.

Looking at a broader angle: demolishing the idea to bring everyone on the same boast and making them agree on an opinion rather than accepting different ideologies(opinions) and being prepared for all possible outcomes.

What can journalists or media houses do?

Maintaining journalistic value and integrity.

Simply delivering unbiased information and reporting events and not storytelling without a bias and divulgence and letting people ratiocinate. News is not supposed to be spicy but just state things how they are but in its purest and idealistic form.

Being independent of the political benefits and putting the state of matters on the table

Providing adequate media coverage to the matters of national interest.

Curating credible journalists who follow the ethics of journalism: truthfulness, accuracy, impartiality, etc., instead of curating news.

There must be a system to monitor and regulate the acts of the media and NOT control it as overtaking it would again be problematic and contrast to the democratic policies. It will help to keep a check on the ill practices, business-driven motives of the media where insensible information or misleading headlines do not make it to the front page.

As injustice and bias in the media become more apparent every day, so does the frustration. Frustration towards the media might lead to chaos, havoc, and fear. Frustration, fear, and curtailment of the freedom of media is against the growth of this democracy. Let us channel this frustration and help the media. The media has a very vital role in determining the future of our country. Accepting the simmering threat to our media as the facade of democracy has reached its boiling point is the only way to retrace our steps back to democracy. If we fail to do so, democracy will remain a mere obscure dream.

Writer - Charmy Savla

Editor -Hamza Ansari,

Illustrator - Shaina

Graphics - Angeline Saleh


The Hindu: Can India remain a free democratic society under diminishing press freedom by Alina Pandey

Youth Ki Awaaz: Can An Average Viewer Do Something Besides Staying Mad At Indian News Channels by Megha Sharma