News is something someone, somewhere doesn’t want to read. The rest is PR.
— Claud Cockburn
Indian media doesn’t do introspection. We recommend it to others—MPs, political parties, militants, judges, scientists.... They are all advised to look deep inside their own trade and clean up the rot. Meanwhile, the rot creeping into the fourth estate is studiously ignored or airbrushed, usually by organising a “studio discussion” in which the citizen is asked: Does the media need to be accountable? Discussion over. Issue over. Fortunately, even that stratagem is wearing thin. The chicanery is conspicuous.
And yet who can deny that while our media has much to be proud of, there is increasing public disenchantment, not just with its slant, shrillness, sermonising and sensationalism, but with its core value, namely integrity. It is hardly a secret that the media is capable of misjudgement and laziness. However, what the aam aadmi seldom doubts is the...