Letters to the Editor - Moneylife

Letters to the Editor - Moneylife


Mainstream media did not like the strong criticism unleashed by Arvind
Kejriwal while speaking about the ‘Gujarat Development Model’ while
electioneering in Bengaluru on 15 March 2014. Mr Kejriwal used strong
words like: “Does the media have the courage to reveal the truth about
Gujarat?” And he added that some sections of the media ‘lied’ about
Gujarat’s development story. Naturally, this has fanned another
controversy around the leader of the Aam Aaadmi Party (AAP) which
perhaps suits AAP’s present need to attract publicity, positive or
negative, to remain in the limelight. Media response, which was at a
near black-out of Mr Kejriwal for sometime, might have surprised AAP

By a strange coincidence, there was a coming
together of some eminent journalists on the same day (March 15) in New
Delhi. The panel discussion that followed the release of journalist
Sashi Kumar’s book Unmediate: Essays on Media, Culture, Cinema, took
serious note of the development and made some balanced comments which
call for a re-look at the self-regulation aspect of media houses in

There was near consensus that the media should be open to criticism
that is ‘legitimate’. Sashi Kumar expressed the view that when Mr
Kejriwal criticises the media, he does so with the knowledge that there
is antagonism within the public towards media. N Ram of The Hindu was
more open when he said, “Unfortunately when people outside the media
criticise us, we have a very thin skin,” identifying
hyper-commercialisation and trivialisation as some of the ills plaguing
the media.

The panel concluded that there was a strong case for professionalism
and codification of values and practices and felt that there was scope
for further improvement in self-regulation, especially in the visual
media. The Press Council of India, which has representation from the
newspaper industry, should play a proactive role in improving

MG Warrier, by email


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