We seem to be reading our daily newspapers and much of the books or TV news as dished out by American media.
Have you ever thought of who gives us these news or views or thought processes?
Yes, it is the world newspapers, world TV channels controlled by nine transnational corporations America dominates a monopoly of colonialism. Even the established Indian newspapers shamelessly fill their pages from US/UK news media! This is the hard truth! The mergers and acquisitions of the large media companies in 2000 had produced this media monopoly in the modern world we live in!
The media conglomerates, as they are called, imagine and why even conduct themselves as if they are a law unto themselves. They operate with the belief that they have a natural and inviolable rights of ownership. They have got these media properties as if born of immaculate conception!
This is media gigantism at its unprecedented scale. Now, the journalism practitioners’ pet questions whether the content is king or distribution the king is becoming irrelevant .Who then is the king in media business? It is the scale, the king! Yes, everything you do must be of sufficient giant scale size, otherwise you are reduced to a helpless puny!
Intellectual property rights? It is, as one media expert has noted, is not your intellectual property anymore! It is subjected to what is called a’restrictive trade practice’! Yes, Intellectual Property Rights, rightly, must be part of the human rights, part of the Universal Declaration of Rights? It is not .Not now! It is now at best your copyright. Ideally it must be our copy duty to the larger humanity. Otherwise what is the point of our having the intellect? What about our duty to share our intellect with the larger humanity?
Now, we have all become mercenaries or the Americans make us so! Yes, our intellectual property rights are transferred to the US Commerce Dept. and also to the WTO! It is the trend of the times and we better understand this new phenomenon of media business and commerce.
Even in India, inside India we see how our large newspapers and media companies ,now also joined by political families controlling the media, TV channels have all turned this public domain into private vested interests! There is just now an explosion of new media ventures in India: more TV news channels, more newspapers! On the Internet medium there is intense competition! In the ex-Communist countries, including Russia, we see the media being controlled by the incumbent governments. Thus, more political power for the governments and more profits for the monarchs of the media industry!
In the Carribbean countries at the doorsteps of the US, we see another phenomenon. Media there means more Americanisation. In India? We are becoming more Americanised, or still under the UK-dictated British penchant for more colonial subservient mentality in our media beliefs, for the media owners as well as for the captive audience of readers. Italy typifies a new phenomenon. Berlusconi, the Prime Minister owns state power as well as media power. Inside India? We see in TN for instance, the two Dravidian parties own or share political power along with their own highly biased and totally distorted TV news channels!
Cricket playing and cricket reporting has turned Indians, in my view, into imbecile slaves of an alien culture of doing things, believing ourselves not in our heritage but in the imperialist mindset.
My worry is even now,with all this knowledge our media industry, our media-insensitive government lets things drift. Our Internet Domain Name System, as it is operating at the international level is outside the ITU and Unesco. It is under the US Dept of Commerce.
As one observer puts it: we refuse to celebrate our victimhood!
We in India seem to be deceiving ourselves. Our media groups are first afraid of the government power. So, there is always the pro-establishment slant in our media reporting. The incumbent Prime Ministers can command the best of the media stars on their free-ride foreign jumbo jaunts! Vajpayee was given week after week cover stories by India Today. Today, it is Sonia worship every day! So too the more pretentious conservative English dailies! What we see is a new type of capitalism, it is media capitalism. What implications for small frys ?……
We need a vigorous cultural education. Cultural sensitivity. As in France, as in Canada. There they forbid English words in French!
American magazines in Canada. Any self respecting nation would have a culture specific media. Do we have it in India? Readers decide!