29 October, 2020

The Media Is The Message

Incredibly loud, incredibly silent. Indian journalism, caught on tape.

Illustration by Sorit
The Media Is The Message

Confession: Until last Thursday, I never appreciated Niira Radia. Shocking, but true. I work for a lifestyle publication and we have a lot to do with one of Radia’s PR firms. It’s usually a waste of time. For which I apologise. I didn’t realise Radia was running the country.

I’m so embarrassed! I mean, now I think about it, compared to that guy, you know—the greasy eminence behind the lifestyle publication The Free Lunch—I should have offered to coach Mukesh Ambani, or carry secret messages to the Congress. The kind of things that real journalists do. And then, maybe Niira would have told me, “That was really great. Thanks. Thanks to you!”

But did I once offer her a quid or even a quo? Did I ever ask, “What do you want me to say?” Or “What should I tell them?” Noooo! I expected all those press releases for free. As Niira says, “the media is very, very, greedy”. Niira is so right. Niira is an oracle. But one thing Niira  is not, as...



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