Indian press, print and electronic media had a global reputation for its bold, free and frank news coverage and political commentary, but it appears that of late not all but many of them have turned into the propaganda machinery of the ruling BJP, the most lamentable turn of events. People looked towards media for truth and nothing but the truth but now truth is scarce and falsehood is ruling the roost. BJP leaders statements, controversies favouring the ruling party and government programmes consume major prime time of many channels leaving the counter view of the opposition high and dry. In the last issue we gave an example of an incident where many TV channels had shown and declared that over six to seven lakh people attended a Gujarat rally addressed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Only one channel contradicted the false reports by showing empty chairs in the meeting and pointing out that space could not accommodate more than one lakh strong audience. The coverage of the Prime Minister’s programmes should be the top priority, but the report should not be exaggerated in his favour or for that matter in favour of any other leader. Truth is the only God that should be adored by media. There may be some discrepancies in shooting and reporting but intentional and false favour to support any leader or party is the most abominable perfidy to the profession.
The fact that can hardly be ignored is that corporate world that is dominating media particularly the electronic media has commercialized journalism, one of the most sacred professions. Monetary benefits and TRP have become the cardinal guidelines. Anchors and artistes who act in TV episodes have become the news themselves. This is a dangerous trend for a democracy where undiluted and unaltered news has the prime importance. No other government in the past offered as many big favours to the media that is supporting in form of overdose publicity to the government particularly the Prime Minister as the present NDA regime did. The victim is the truth that is the soul of the news. These channels which are presenting falsehood in the garb of truth are in full swing as Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat are going to assembly polls.