Zuv' chumm' bramhaan'
Ghar' gachaa

Oct 14, 2006

Why doesn’t media do what it should do…?

Some days ago – a comment to the post asked “This is so... inexcusable!! Why doesn’t the press popularize this???”... And I was left wondering how much we believe our media, blindly most of the times. I am increasingly loosing my faith and trust in the secular and unbiased nature of the media today… Media has its own agenda, its own business too…

One of my all time favorite movies – “Main Azaad hoon…” (remake of “Meet John Doe”) aptly highlighted this…

Media has stakeholder interests, budgets and revenue targets to take care of too. Media has TRP to bother about – media has rankings and acceptability to loose sleep over… Truth and fearless reporting too come somewhere in the list of priorities – but deep below…

An eminent Kashmiri (Pandit) writer once wrote this email… about his travails of getting his articles published in many leading news papers. But he failed, obviously because the content wasn’t the right things to say – so what if he was speaking the truth. It just wasn’t the right topic to print, since it could antagonize the majority community in Kashmir – since the article is “Kashmiri Pandits – On the road to extinction”.

Finally, he opted to publish the article in on merinews.com…. (read his email below)

“I have been trying to get the above cited article published in any of
the national english dailies but failed to get the editors to agree. I
spoke personally to the Associate editors, editors etc of Hindustan
Times, Times of India, Indian Express. While they appreciated the
quality of the article and its non-political nature they just avoided
any commitment on publishing it due to lame excuses like lack of
space, rush of paid articles etc. My intention was only to let the
Indian public know of the community's woes and the unconcern of the

Merinews is the first citizen journalism portal in India and is coming
up fast as a popular website. They have published the article and can
be read at
"Kashmiri Pandits - On the road to extinction"

My request to members is to please give it the wide publicity. In case
anybody is able to get it published in any newspaper anywhere, I would
have no objection to its use.

P.N. Razdan”

Media hasn’t been the fourth pillar of democracy that it’s expected to be – for long. Maybe I am too biased against them – if so, it’s just a result of the anguish accrued in the last 16 years of exile – 16 years of media blackout about the pain of Kashmiri Pandit’s, 16 years of them turning a blind eye to the half-million people in exile in their own country, paying the sad price of being Indian…


Mohit Kaul said...

I remember raising the same question to an eminent journalist, Saeed Naqvi, when he was a guest of honour in a function held by my B-School; he too had no definite answer to this. Allow me to demonstrate with an example, The Times of India, the leading English daily of India, personally I find it no better than a tabloid. It is all about sensationalism, increasing circulation and TRP. It is not only media but people too seem to like this kind of reporting. More often you'll find people going through the magazine section of the paper rather than the main paper which is very unfortunate. Unfortunately,we don't have men who take look at journalism as a Fourth Estate, but let this not deter this from hoping that things will change for better.

How do we know said...

i read in the TOI today about the plight of Kashmiris who are rounded up each time there is a terrorism alert, and how several of them are being forced to go back to Kashmir bcs of this harassment outside Kashmir.

One man's poison is another's nectar. We also have kashmiris who would do anything to go home, to be just allowed to go home.

Maybe the Times of India should write about them also.

Or perhaps, it is fashionable to write about Kashmir with only one perspective?

Kaun dhoondhe jawab dardon ke,
Log to bas sawaal karte hain

Anonymous said...

This editorial offers some insight on how journalists offer up only what they're told to offer up. I'm sure this doesn't just happen in America.