Does western media treat India with kid gloves?

The manner in which the “western media” covers India has, for long, been a pet peeve of patriots and expatriates.

Poverty, disease, death, despair, corruption, communal violence… these are the only things that capture the attention of the “arrogant”, “condescending”, “patronising” foreign correspondent based in India, is the setpiece argument.

Well, guess what, Chinese patriots and expatriates believe the western media is giving India a free ride while ganging up against their country.

On James Fallows‘ superb blog, an overseas Chinese correspondent wrote recently:

“They [western media] see India as a unique place with some nostalgia; they see Indian government as one of their own; they see India’s human rights problem with great tolerance and understanding; they seem never hesitate to acclaim India as one of biggest power in the world in spite of its economy is far lagging behind that of China.”

Another wrote that India got better treatment from the world media because of its democracy and transparency.

In response, and in contrast, an Indian expat Shreeharsh Kelkar writes that he rarely sees pictures of back-breaking poverty from China in the western media’s coverage of that country unlike India’s; all the photographs are of the huge factories, the magnetic trains, the Olympics.

“It was funny for me to read that your Chinese correspondent actually wanted his country to be treated the way India is treated in the media here.  There are hordes of Indians who would wish that India was treated in the Western media the way China is: with a mixture of fear and admiration rather than what they interpret as condescending pity.”

Also read: Anybody here been raped and speaks English?

The land of a thousand bad newspaper articles

If our reporters are sloppy, what about theirs?

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