Do news channels exist anymore?
“We all have our likes and dislikes. But when we are doing news – when we are doing the front page news, not the back page, not the op-ed pages, but when we are doing the daily news, covering politics – it is our duty to be sure that we do not permit our prejudices to show. That is simply basic journalism.” – Walter Cronkite.
Journalists are expected to be honest and report the news that they are showing with absolute integrity. Sadly, ethics in media houses seem to have vanished. What we are shown today is not news, but the views of some people who seem to indirectly associate themselves with some group.
To the best of my knowledge, news channels in India today seem to be either pro-Congress or pro-BJP. And the pictures you often see on newspaper pages are those of two famous and controversial Indian journalists – Arnab Goswami and Rajdeep Sardesai.
When media journalists showed their solidarity for the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) indirectly, Arnab Goswami acted as a crusader of patriotism. From then onwards, many people started disliking or avoiding many anchors like Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai.
Recently, Arnab left Times Now and launched his own channel called Republic TV. Soon, the news emerged that Rajeev Chandrashekar had invested more than ₹30 crores in ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, of which Republic TV was a part. Rajeev Chandrashekar is a member of the NDA and the Vice Chairman of BJP. Isn’t it a matter of shame that a person, who masquerades himself as the harbinger of justice and integrity, allowed a person from the BJP to invest in a supposedly unbiased channel? However, little attention was paid to this news.
Some months ago, the issue of beef consumption again made the headlines across the country – and many journalists supported the right to eat beef, except the ‘nation’s number one anchor’, Arnab Goswami. He had perfectly changed his narrative and views regarding the consumption of beef – and you can find videos which show him changing his views on the internet.
Ravish Kumar is a popular anchor who regards ground coverage and listening to people’s grievances to be the crux of his news reportage. Unfortunately, in my opinion, he has also exposed himself by showing his biased ideologies. To my knowledge, he likes to discuss more about Modi more than people’s plight.
Zee News, in my opinion, needs no description of how prejudiced it is. The whole media group seems to have strong affiliations with the BJP. The owner of the Zee Media Group, Subhas Chandra, had even publicly pitched for a BJP candidate in an assembly election. DNA, which is a news show hosted by Sudheer Chaudhry, generally runs into controversies for running spontaneous, mock stories like the one on the installation of chips in newly-circulated notes, etc.
“Manufacturing Consent” is a famous book written by the famous American linguist and political philosopher, Noam Chomsky. It gives inside details on how news channels run tabloid news to appease those who are in power or those who are helpful to them. Chomsky mentions that editorial distortion is aggravated by the news media’s dependence on private and governmental news sources. If a newspaper, television station or magazine incurs disfavor from the sources, it loses readers or views, and ultimately advertisements. To minimise such financial danger, news media businesses editorially distort their reports to often favor the government and corporate societies.
In a country where youths are losing their jobs and farmers are committing suicide, journalists find it better to indulge in scathing attacks over each other. Frankly, money and power have dominated the world – and the trend continues.