Journalism in coma; Rise of Middle Class; SCO is not China club

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Opinion Watch

Journalism in coma

Journalism is meant to be a profession solely loyal to the public interest. But journalism in India has been at the mercy of Seths, businessmen of the bygone era, who hobnob with the political parties and the government to profiteer and protect their rotten businesses. These Seths have taken Indian journalism to the state of coma.

The Indian Express has sought to take a high moral ground with its lead Editorial in the episode involving the BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya against The Wire for running a ‘malicious’ story, which claimed that he had been given a privileged access by Instagram to take down posts, while enjoying impunity for his own social media acts. The Wire ran the story on the basis of purported internal communication, which by now stands discredited.

The Noida-based daily has given an account of the instances of the abuse of power against the press freedom by the Centre and the state governments, arguing that the powerful seek to muzzle the press freedom. The daily has also faulted The Wire, which has lodged FIR against reporter who had filed the story against Malviya, saying that the news portal has breached the journalistic ethics and values.

By associating with Ram Nath Goenka, The Indian Express takes the moral high ground to lecture on the state of press freedom, while being selective in its condemnation. The daily takes swipe at consultants hired as reporters by The Wire as if it has some other employment model. When did The Indian Express last do a story or an investigation that would have made one sit up and take note of? This newspaper is now a place where any spokesperson of the BJP, who may not even be able to write one sentence or speak in English, can get an opinion piece published. The Wire indeed has erred, and bared its mercenary mandate. But the media rot is without exception, and all must be ashamed, and certainly not lecture the others.

Rise of Middle Class      

The Times of India has quoted PRICE, a think tank, to state that the size of the Indian middle class has now doubled to 30 per cent of the households in the country. The daily stated that PRICE has categorised households with an annual income of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 30 lakh as middle class – they represent 50 per cent of the income earned, 48 per cent of the expenditure and 56 per cent of the savings.

The size of the middle class by 2047 is estimated to grow to 63 per cent in the country. The daily gives a bland account of the numbers without an accompanying prose. It must be noted that the middle class which carries the weight of the economy is never at the centre stage of povertarian policy making of the governments. The middle class pays taxes, multiple with the advent of GST, while it is also stung by the lack of quality public education, healthcare. Despite the size, the middle class in India is not a political constituency, which makes the governments continue with the vote buying schemes such as free foodgrains.

SCO is not China club

India is taking over the Presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) for one year, which will coincide with the leadership of the G20 also. The Economic Times has commented on the virtual meeting of the SCO where the Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar argued that respecting sovereignty should be the top agenda of the grouping.

The business daily mentioned that the SCO member countries affirmed their support to the Chinese Belt Road Initiative, barring India, as New Delhi stressed on alternative infrastructure such as North-South Transport Corridor, which connects Russia and India via Iran. The business daily also makes a case for India to seek to gain from the Chinese technology at a time when the world turns its back on Beijing.

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1 thought on “Journalism in coma; Rise of Middle Class; SCO is not China club

  1. Good coverage on status of journalism, Liberty to press vs the expected role to make an impact in the society is a point of concern …almost all across. But this not surprising looking at the moral values of the today’s society – which is need based so easily influenced by power & money.
    – What our next generation is learning is the fruit of what we all have been doing from our part.
    – For a fair journalism and press to show the right path / make an impact through corrections, the entire media need to be united (part of this working for power and money would not help).

    Increased percentage of middle class in our society is a big concern, they are backbone for the society and economy whereas they do not get any relief / enjoy from Government’s plan. Worst part is they are not the role model of today’s society and gets ignored.

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