Has a ‘desperate party’ paid huge sums to TV?

The Indian Express television critic Shailaja Bajpai recently mooted the idea of “equal coverage” (a la the United States) to remove the growing distortion of news TV coverage of contemporary politics.

The veteran broadcaster Ravi M. Khanna (formerly of the Voice of America) adds his weight to the proposal in his column in the industry journal, Impact:

“Indian media especially TV channels, will have to behave more responsibly in its coverage of the 2014 parliamentary elections, because the race this time is becoming more ‘leader-based’ rather than based on political parties.

“The channels will have to be careful and work harder in order to keep the campaign story balanced and objective and avoid showing their bias towards one leader or the other.

“This becomes even more crucial amid rumours that a particular desperate party has already paid huge sums of money to cash-strapped TV channels to twist the coverage in its own favour….

“I was appalled to see that when Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi were addressing their rallies at different locations but at the same time some of the channels were either covering only the Modi rally or covering both rallies on a split screen, the audio of the Gandhi rally was switched off.”

Read the full column: Media and fast-changing politics

Also read: ‘Media’s Modi-fixation needs medical attention’

How Narendra Modi buys media through PR

Modi‘s backers and media owners have converged’

‘Network18′s multimedia Modi feast, a promo’

For cash-struck TV, Modi is effective TRP

Not just a newspaper, a no-paid-news newspaper!


  1. Yella Ok

    Yes. The desperate party is the common man. Payment through attention that translates to TRP

  2. money power entering elections 2014 in a big way anyway reflects TV coverage too owned by the tycoons

  3. Rakesh

    so that desperate party did not pay you folks anything? There may be a point about having balanced coverage of important parties but why to muddy the waters by leveling sensational allegations. Media shows what pays. And Modi is the flavour of the season.

  4. Paid news is the norm. It was an issue even before the elections. The editorial by N Ram in The Hindu a couple of days ago was clearly biased. He all but asked the readers to stand against the BJP. I was shocked at this display of bias by a newspaper I have been following for years.

    1. P Oommen Joseph

      You are wrong on facts. It was not an editorial but an opinion piece by N Ram. In a signed article there is no harm in expressing a clear view and that view need not be the view of the paper carrying it.
      Talking of bias, the fact is that the Hindu’s coverage of national news in the past few years is clearly designed to take support away from the party now in power and defeat it in the coming elections.
      Whom does that help ? No prizes for guessing the answer

      1. Sam

        What is the editorial that you both are discussing – can you please provide a link to it?

    1. Sam

      Thanks. Well written article true to Mr. Ram’s style.

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