I was reading this address by Pranab Roy after he won the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academics and Management.
He’s talking about three phases to the evolution of Indian media. And I found it interesting to know how politicians influence the media. Here’s a gist.
Phase 1 - Exclusion: He claims independant media was excluded during the state media of DD days. Then you could not report about India. All you could do was report about the world news on TV.
Phase 2 - Intimidation: He claims in this phase after state control of television reporting was ended and private players could report on India and Indian politics, they used to get calls from powerful people intimidating them to change their reports. But he also claims he did nothing. And his reporting didn’t change. So did many other channels.
Phase 3 - McCarthyism: He says “McCarthyism is widely considered to be the darkest period in the recent history of the United States. During this period, put simply, the state apparatus, such as the FBI and the Tax Authorities, filed false cases against virtually every well-known journalist and hundreds of influential leaders in Hollywood. It was the period when America saw a “red under every bed”. Now, in a trend that started ten years ago - we in India are beginning to imagine a seditious, anti-national bug under every rug.”
And he claims we are currently in this last phase with Indian media. And believes it will change too and Indian media will be free and fair that it will show the likes of CNN and BBC how impartial debates and reporting should be done.
Hope we get to that phase soon. Any comments?