India is facing many challenges and the one current headline grabber has hit media freedom. A well-known name in the TV channels is the Republic TV promoted and anchored by the well-known professional, Arnab Goswamy, has been arrested, yes arrested in a not dignified way, he was manhandled by what we can see and kept under arrest for a day and produced in the court the next day and what we learn from the reports he was treated in all manner of indignity gives rise to feelings of dismay and disgust . Media freedoms in India came by way of many restrictions from the British Raj days onwards.
The story is well told many times over. We need not repeat the same again here. Today in the prevailing circumstances media freedoms are under some sort of threat and fear and intimidation. The career opportunities for the media professionals is now not assured and many reputed journalists, both print media and TV anchors had withered away and many new accounts of what is going on in the many TV companies give us many unsavoury pictures.
First, there is the financial troubles from what we have learnt that the promoters, why most of them come not from any business backgrounds and they are of course skilled and uniquely gifted ones and yet they very soon get caught up in some tangles and thus we learn that even the many gifted anchor-promoters. Find themselves in some trouble or other and they are forced to borrow funds, this often happens by getting “caught” by the big guns! Thus, you will find some, why even the top quality channels are not deep. Debts in the hands of billionaire businessmen. Media ownership is not a big mystery! We don’t really know who owes how much from whom!
There are so many tricks of the “trade”. And thus we see the new changes and also new faces and new partners. The money laundering tangle is one of the big mysteries. And the end result is that today the 900 odd news channels compete in all manner of sorts and what is news and fake news and genuine news are all big questions for the pundits to get involved with.
So the whole business of creating news, genuine news, reliable news from fake news is a totally unwelcome media landscape.
The future seems to be online versions and to that extent the future of the print media. Industry is a question mark. In such an uncertain future of the media industry and the whole question of what a government can do to ensure the So too the career profiles of some of the most respected or once respected names and faces.
Also, the health of the media industry. Even the once much respected venerable BBC TV channel is now going easy on many news items. So too even in India we see even the most committed channels are using the entertainment element, mixing Amitabh Bachan and a film actress or some glamorous faces to draw and retain interest in the serious news watchers.
Is there political patronage for the news channels?
This is a question we have to explore separately. It is better to read some of the latest print stories of the News channels. As for the pine media industry too are suffering because of the steep fall in the sales of print copies of newspapers.
Citizens freedoms – Is a debate for the hardcore veterans. Media freedoms are a much valued part of any democratic or why even to the dictator governments.
In India as we have stated many times over that we need a new media policy to ensure the time-honoured respect and protection of media freedoms. Citizens must be feeling a sense of genuine freedoms in their day to day lives. That is the very heart of a democratic government.
And as we see that freedom really means to discuss and debate issues openly, there would be conflicts of opinion and there would be as the Arnab case shows even class with the executive, why even with the arms of the government like, say, the police and such acts of right and wrong, such excesses have to be dealt with in the exercise of the due process of law.
The courts, why even the political parties and the members of the legislatures have to ensure an atmosphere of tolerance. India’s freedom struggle too was marked by several phases. Our own political history too much was affected by world history, from Soviet Revolution to other happenings and so what we today in India need to keep in mind is that political ideologies, even the current ones, from the Congress to the BJP and other minor or major formulations have to be seen and analysed and applied in the true historic context.
Today, we are driven by much confusion and contradictions formulation of our contradictory political formulations.