Posted by: cochinblogger | February 13, 2010

Indian Newspapers and The Hindu Majority

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“As in the film industry where a few rich individuals make movies for the consumption of the masses, in the newspaper industry too a wealthy few set out to discover and publicise in the regional language (with the help of established journalists and stringers) the concerns of ordinary men and women. The problem is that these owners, more often than not, happen to be Hindus and therefore tend to be mainly concerned about the interests of the Hindu majority. Witness the role of Hindi language press in the Ramjanmabhoomi campaign. On stringers, Sevanti Ninan says how well a stringer reported depended on ‘whether or not he also collected advertising, what his caste and professional background was, why he had come into the profession, and how much gumption he had as an individual.'”

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I’m intrigued by the sentence “The problem is that these owners, more often than not, happen to be Hindus and therefore tend to be mainly concerned about the interests of the Hindu majority.” Well, India is an overwhelmingly Hindu country, so most newspaper owners will be Hindus. This is not happenstance! Then again, most English-language newspaper owners too are Hindus, so the question to be asked is what makes vernacular newspaper owners different from English-language newspaper owners. Their religion is a red herring.

Posted from Diigo.

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