Monday, December 6, 2010

Radia Tapes - Media in Neo-liberal India: Just up for Sale, or Made to Order

In the Light of the Radia Tape Leaks

New Socialist Initiative invites you to a Discussion on

Media in Neo-liberal India: Just up for Sale, or Made to Order


Hartosh Singh Bal
Political Editor, Open Magazine

Prashant Bhushan
Eminent Lawyer and Legal Activist

Monobina Gupta
Freelance Journalist

Venue: Activity Center, Above Spic Macay Canteen, Arts Fac., DU

Time & Date: 1.30 pm onwards, 8th December

Abstract: A side show in the mammoth 2-G spectrum scam has become the most revealing of all skeletons. Despite conspiratorial silence by mainstream media houses initially, Radia Tapes have generated a long overdue debate about the state of journalism in the country. The buck has stopped, busting puffed up moral postures, and free nuggets of wisdom have turned out be greased in corporate fat. The debate has also gone beyond individual misdeeds and lack of professional ethics to the cozy relationship between sections of the media and private corporations. 

Corporatisation of the media, blurring of the boundary between editorial and managerial prerogatives, and developments like paid news, edvertorails, etc. have rightly been critiqued. However, is it just a matter of a few black sheep breaking rules, or does the relationship between the media and the ruling establishment go much deeper? Liberal rule establishes its legitimacy by eliciting, validating and seeming to obey public opinion. Liberal theory imagines public opinion to be arising out of rational, informed, and open debate and discussion. Most of what we come to know about our society is mediated through media. Media is the most powerful player in the formation of public opinion. The language and tone of news, editorials, lead articles and cartoons, shows like ‘We the People’, sms polls, letters to the editor, etc., all carry the formal character of inviting and addressing a public. Is the public informing media, and addressed by it, the people at large? Or, stemming from an established ruling structure, media’s presentations are ways to express, rationalize and refine interests and prejudices of upper class, upper caste, mainly Hindu, elites ruling the country. Does the media bring out truths of our society? Or, is it an ideological apparatus ensuring that ‘ruling ideas of our epoch are ideas of its ruling classes’?


Post a Comment