How corporate ownership shapes TV news?

Virendra Kapoor, former editor of the Free Press Journal, in his column in M.J. Akbar‘s Sunday Guardian:

Money speaks

The growing intrusion of corporate money into the media is beginning to show in myriad ways.

For instance, ever since a big industrial group made a huge investment in a multi-channel television group, its news channel has become rather staid.

While other English language channels debate major controversies of the day, and generally excoriate the government for its various acts of omission and commission, this channel’s focus has shifted to “soft” or non-controversial topics.

A minister has only to pick up the phone to complain to the corporate boss that untrue things were said about him in a panel discussion for the channel to be chastised by its paymaster. Discretion being the better part of valour, the channel generally steers clear of major controversies, thus leaving the field clear for the other English language channels.

Likewise, thanks to corporate pressures, the channel now feels obliged to use the services of controversial journalists who lack even basic skills of proficient writing and clear articulation.

Read the full column: No holds barred


  1. Sukumar Muralidharan

    I don’t see how this manner of a comment, in which the news channel involved remains unnamed, serves any purpose. To say that a certain channel’s news coverage has become rather “staid” is a subjective judgment. We all know of a big industrial house recently investing big money in a multi-channel broadcast company. But the news content broadcast over these channels seems still to be very much as before, and not very distinct from the competition. We need to get more specific here. The time for this kind of wink and nudge comments has long past.

  2. I second Sukumar. Having them unnamed doesn’t serve any purpose…

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