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Times of Tata ad: Is the foundation of journalism in jeopardy?

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By Prachi Mishra

Media, an integral part of our democracy, a forum of unbiased public debates, has reached at an abysmally low point today. Instead of providing a platform to voice public opinions and concerns, it represents the objectives and interests of the upper-class. Today, the newspapers and news channels work with the sole motive of ‘raising the moolah.’

One recent example of the corporatization of media is a webpage by Economic Times, titled as ‘Times of Tata,’ dedicating an entire page to the Tata Group. The article states:

The archives show profoundly how the Tata created history and how the Times’ publications published it. It has always been thus: the creators of history and its chroniclers have always lived together in a symbiotic and close relationship. The following pages contain just a clutch of reports and stories of the Tata group in the Bennett Coleman publications. Obviously 28 pages are not enough to do justice to the groups’ relationship, that has endured over 150 years.

The webpage illustrates the emergence of Tata as a leading business empire and the step by step coverage of its journey by the Times publication over the years. What could be more unprincipled than a leading newspaper wallowing in the glory of its relation with the esteemed business group and revering it by publishing articles about it? Is there any scarcity of social or political issues in our country, which require more attention that this newspaper, owned by Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd., has divulged into such thoughtless form of journalism?

The Times of Tata

This is an example of the rising trend of paid news in media. Most of the newspapers today publish stories in favor of a particular company to which they are aligned. In a research conducted by Dilip Mandal and R. Anuradha published in Media Ethics, it was found that the board of directors of a number of media companies comprise of representatives of big corporates. It was reported that the board committee of Jagran Publications includes the managing director of Pantaloon Retail, Kishore Biyani, McDonald India’s MD, Vikram Bakshi, and Mirza International’s MD, Rashid Mirza, along with the CEO of media consulting firm Lodestar Universal India, Shashidhar Sinha, and the chairman of the real estate firm JLL Meghraj, Anuj Puri. The board of directors of HT Media, which publishes Hindustan Times and Hindustan, comprises of K. N. Memani, the former chairman of Ernst & Young, and the chairman of ITC Ltd., Y C Deveshwar. Several other media houses also possess big industrialists as their board committee members.

It’s not an unknown fact that all the big corporate companies are in cut-throat competition with each other. Therefore, in order to lobby their own business interests, they use the platform of media. Even if the journalists want to report the truth, their stories are edited beyond recognition ultimately presenting a biased view.

The Indian media has tasted a huge commercial success in the last few years; however, this success has come at a price of the decline in the standard of journalism. This closeness with the corporate sector has caused confusion in the media towards its priorities. Rather than becoming a forum for the public opinion, it caters to the vested interests of the top-notch business companies. The webpage by Economic Times reflects deplorable state of journalism in India to the forefront.

 

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Journalist Gauri Lankesh Shot Dead ; Protests Organized Across the State as Karnataka Comes to a Standstill

Senior Kannada tabloid Editor and social activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead on Tuesday night by unidentified men at her residence.

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Gauri Lankesh
National and international media clike, condemn the murder of Gauri Lankesh, a senior journalist and a fearless critic of right wing politics. Wikimedia
  • Reputed journalist, editor and activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead on September 5 by three unidentified men outside her house
  • Lankesh was an editor of popular Kannada tabloid “Lankesh Patrike”
  • Protests have erupted in various cities in Kerala following Gauri Lankesh’s murder

Karnataka, September 6, 2017 : Protests erupted across Karnataka on Wednesday morning condemning the dastardly killing of senior Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead at her residence here on Tuesday night by three unidentified men.

Journalists, activists, writers, thinkers and women organisations were seen among the crowds that gathered in the city and across the state condemning the killing of the journalist.

People were seen gathered at the Town Hall here for a silent protest, holding placards. “You can kill a person but not their ideas,” read one placard.

Silent demonstration was also staged by journalist groups at the Victoria Hospital grounds, where the autopsy is being done.

Across the state, protests were witnessed in Mangaluru, Kalaburagi, Dharwad, Koppal among other regions, where citizens took to the streets.

Journalists in Mysuru, wearing black ribbons around their shoulders, also held a protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office.

Massive protests have also been planned across the country in various cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad among others.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has also cancelled all his official programmes on Wednesday.

“CM has cancelled all engagements, including a day-long trip to Kerala in view of the developments since Tuesday night,” said an official from the Chief Minister’s Office.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi also expressed shock and distress over the murder on Wednesday, saying “this can’t and should not be tolerated”.

Accusing the BJP of silencing dissent, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said it was a part of their ideology. “Anyone who speaks against BJP is silenced…” Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday.

Gauri Lankesh, 55, was shot dead by three unidentified men who had shot her when she returned home from her office in the city.

Lankesh was an editor of popular Kannada tabloid “Lankesh Patrike”.

In November 2016, Gauri Lankesh was sentenced to six months in jail after a defamation case was filed against her for a report against Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. She was out on bail pending an appeal. (IANS)

 

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Exclusive: Journalist Sanjay Mehta’s Report On Plight of The Tribes in Jharkhand

Journalist Sanjay Mehta, who went and stayed in Saranda village in Jharkhand, witnessed the plight and the worsened living conditions of the tribes people in the area

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Sanjay Mehta
Sanjay Mehta, a journalist from Jharkhand, with children from Saranda region. Sanjay Mehta
  • Sanjay Mehta is a journalist and a student of law hailing from Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
  • The journalist went and stayed with the tribes people of Saranda, thereby witnessing their living conditions
  • Sanjay Mehta’s report reveals the plight of tribes have been completely neglected by the system and the government leading to their shambolic living conditions

July 06, 2017:

Sanjay Mehta, a student of law at Vinoba Bhave University, is also a journalist hailing from Hazaribagh, Jharkhand. On 21st June, Mehta decided to visit Saranda forest region to get a closer glimpse of the various tribes that inhabit the place. This was Sanjay Mehta’s own initiative as he considers himself personally bonded with the clan.

Having visited many villages in the region and living among these tribes, Mehta developed a deeper understanding of the poor living conditions of these people who are ignored by both, the system as well as the government.

Sanjay Mehta
A tribe woman with her child. Sanjay Mehta

The Saranda forest, which lies in the West Singhbhum district, is approximately 200Kms away from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand. Mehta reports that the living condition of the people is inhumane. The tribal clan is desperate for a better life. He continues that the offsprings of these people are victims of malnutrition and their present condition is fretting.

The pregnant women have frightful conditions to encounter every day throughout their pregnancy. Additionally, there are problems with the drinking water due to its high iron ore content. Mehta has discovered these problems since his visit to the region where the entire atmosphere is tragical and disappointing. Ignored by the authorities, it is as if these people are left to work things out on their own. Such situations suffered by the entire ethnic group is ridiculously disturbing.

Also Read: Exclusive: Why Gorkhaland for Gorkhas?

Villages like Meghahatuburu, Kotgarh, Gua, Tatiba, Lokasi, among many others, are struggling for basic necessities of life. The doctors in the hospitals are under-staffed, schools lack students who suffer from malnutrition while the entire community have only the nature for survival (which isn’t enough in today’s world). Having failed completely, the questions should be aimed towards the Govt.

Sanjay Mehta
The children of families in Saranda, Jharkhand suffer from malnutrition and malaria. Sanjay Mehta

Sanjay Mehta also alleges that the Feb 2017 report prepared by UNICEF and the Central Govt has falsely estimated that only 20% of the kids in the Saranda region suffer from malnutrition. Having lived there for 15 days now, the journalist estimates a much higher statistic than 20%. He reports that almost every kid is under-nutrition and often even minor diseases are life threatening. These deaths go unnoticed and often ignored.

The Govt. facilities are non-existent. The water problem combined with extreme unemployment implies just how badly the Govt has been performing. Even basic electricity is a rare thing in some villages. In some areas, the roads are constructed badly, and in others, you can only see crooked paths.

The region is a mining paradise making it complicated for development policies to be implemented here. Most of the land is leased out to SAIL, a public sector company, and thus the amount of money received from the centre for development is often sent back. SAIL has its own CSR initiative and therefore, do not provide an approval certificate. Although the officers have been urged time and again to look into the matter, there still has been no progress.

In his report, Sanjay Mehta has also documented the experiences of the villagers. Many people also told that the poor quality of water has infected their feet and nails. The women of Noamundi grieved that they fry insects as their meal. It is, in fact, an essential nutrition in their diet at this time of the season.

Sanjay Mehta
The drinking water has a high content of Iron ores making it a health issue. Sanjay Mehta

One villager has expressed his frustration aimed at the government. He said that the kids of the village are dying of malnutrition and malaria. The government is paying no attention to it.

Another man from a village called Kiriburu has declared the government’s policies as a complete failure. The people of the village have not reaped any benefits that the government had promised.

Juda Bodra, hailing from the Gua village, stated “I am unemployed and have no benefits from the state. This is very difficult for us”

Sanjay Mehta
Badapasia women selling insects which are an essential part of the daily meal of this tribe. Sanjay Mehta

Badapasia village resident Ghanshyam Bobonge said that the conditions for tribe’s people are miserable. “We are living the lives’ of the lowest class. No officials come and address our griefs”

When the journalist highlighted this issue in a Facebook post, it was reported and henceforth removed. The Journalist also concludes that gradually the villagers are getting more and more angry towards the establishment, which is unhealthy for any political system. Sanjay Mehta can be followed on Twitter @JournalistMehta

By Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Narad Jayanti: May 11 is reckoned as tribute to Narad Muni- A precursor of Journalism

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Cosmic World, Pixabay

May 12, 2017: Communication plays a significant part in the lives of every living being. It becomes easy to share the thoughts, ideas and information with each other by the means of communication. The process of communication has existed since pre-historic times. Not only humans but plants and animals also communicate in their own language. In the Hindu folks, Narad Muni is deemed to be the pioneer of communication. May 11 is celebrated every year as Narad Jayanti to commemorate Sage Narad.

Some Puranas insinuates that the Sage Narad emerged from the forehead of Lord Brahma whereas others like Vishnu Purana vindicated that he is the descendant of Sage Kashyapa. Narad rishi is one of the prajapatis and also among the seven noble rishis.

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Narad Jayanti is discerned as the birth anniversary of Devrishi Narad. It is supposed that he used to continuously explore all around the world crooning and communicating information.

Rig Veda has some hymns credited to Narada Muni. Naradji is pictured as a sanyasi with a Veena in hand who often create trouble of course with a positive intention or for the prosperity of the world.

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Narad Jayanti is celebrated on the day after full moon day in Vaishakh month i.e. April or May.

Sage Narad is a precursor of modern day journalism and mass communication. Hence the day is also called ‘Patrakar Diwas’ and is honoured in this form crosswise the country. He is believed to be the designer of the musical instrument, Veena. He has been held the master of the Gandharvas who was the divine musicians.

The day urges the journalists to follow his ideations, expand their approach to people of the community and aim towards public welfare.

– by a staff writer at NewsGram