Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why Do So Many Politicians Own Newspapers?

What's got me so riled today so that I can rant? I don't remember. A disease of a sudden, or, is it congenital? Yeah. Now that I have written the title hope to do some justice to the subject.

Yes, I remember, I do. The media industry, that's it. How can I forget? Why are more and more politicians in India floating newspapers? I have been watching this trend with alarm and a bit of surprise. Virtually every ambitious politician has floated his own newspaper. Which mean – if I am not mistaken – the days of the freedom of the press are over. Isn't it? The suicidal tendency of India's leading newspaper is obvious (what with their decision to sell news) and, now, politicians – with their dailies – are gaining mileage out of that. Why hasn't India – producer of such business icons as Ambanis and Ruias – not seen a single new newspaper magnate over so many years? The western world had several: Maxwell, Murdoch, Katherine Graham, etc. Yes, of course, Goenka was one, but after him who? We had Sadanand who ran Free Press and C.R. Irani who ran Statesman. They are all dead. Now K.M.Mathew, a veteran who ran Malayala Manorama (in which I did a brief stint) is also dead.

With so many pioneers comfortably resting below the soil in their coffins, the country is open season for unscrupulous media barons to jump into the fray and advance their political career, my humble guess. So many Maharashtrian politicians own media houses that it's a rare politician who do not own a news paper. News is being sold and the possibility of truth being distorted and motivated is all the more obvious. Ahem. It's nothing of my concern, I guess. I am tired and I had to write this because I have a promise to keep, i.e., that I will blog every day. So readers, truth is I am very sleepy, so I am off to bed.

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