22 April, 2021

Move It To The Main Hall

The stink in lobbying can be dispelled by the clean garb of advocacy

Illustration by Sorit
Move It To The Main Hall

If Niira Radia did what she did today in the early 1870s, she would still be called a lobbyist. The practice is not new and neither is the use of the word lobbying. One version is that it began during that decade when US president Ulysses S. Grant used to walk from the White House to the Willard Hotel ‘lobby’ to meet people who wanted to have a say in presidential matters. So was born the term ‘lobbyists’.

What is also not new is the network between journalists and lobbyists. It is common knowledge that a journalist who has never received a call from the most influential lobbyist is termed as someone who hasn’t made the cut just yet. Today, there is evidence of lobbyists having more than just access to columnists and editors. Most journalists are on the list of agencies that maintain and manage an extensive network of newshounds. So there is no point waking up to this nexus as if it never existed. It is the job of a lobbyist to influence but it is up to the journalist not to get swayed. That, especially when...

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