Tuesday, May 04, 2010

TELANGANA X:The Good, Bad & Ugly of National Media Coverage

Telangana movement in its latest phase has been the most widespread, democratic and non-violent people's movement in this country since Indian Independence. Some captured it in its bellowing spirit while some journalists instead of seeing this as an opportunity to show-case this nation's democratic ideals, ignorantly and narrow-mindedly misreported and ended up consolidating the distrust and reaffirming the fears Telanganites have that they are outnumbered and outweighed even in media.

Here is a brief look at the good, bad and the ugly of that coverage.


The Good:
The very independent Tehelka too took the roads in Telangana to gauge the mood in 'Stir, My Beloved Country'. Samrat Chakrabarti, who earlier wrote an investigative article on Bt.Brinjal did this observant piece on the latest phase of Telangana movement .

The Hindu came up with this wonderful article
'World through homogenous frames' on the democratic spirit in the OU student movement. In contrast to the hare-brained interpretations by most in mainstream media on how the students movement is becoming a threat to law & order and democratic rule, the article analyzes how the students in fact embraced the democratic values of this country and how they seek to find shelter or withhold them as and when required. Thanks for the Anon who shared this link with me on this blog.

EPW, as discussed earlier, went on the Telangana trail. This is a fantastic piece that captures the magnitude and the mood of the movement.

The Bad:
NDTV's TS Sudhir's close-mindedness is amusing. Even while events of unheard magnitudes erupt around for the cause of Telangana, he was inexplicably indifferent. Not that he didn't get the feedback. Look at the pic here :)

TS Sudhir's profile on NDTV reads 'He has reported extensively on politics, Naxalism,..and is one of the senior most television journalists in the country today'. It was a shame to see this 'senior' produce literally nothing on the claims of Telangana advocates even when they seem to have succeeded dividing this state. Instead, this is the gem he produced - "Even KCR does not believe he is the right vehicle (for achieving Telangana). His party's symbol is the ambassador car but he doesn't travel in one himself". Maybe the 'senior' journalist thinks Chandrababu goes cycling to the assembly and his Heritage offices and that Mayawati rides an elephant everyday on public and private businesses! Another gem - "I watched with horror as students at Osmania University in Hyderabad turned virtually into monsters". Yeah, you read it right. He calls OU students monsters. How could he say renaming Kadapa after YSR is apt as YSR, according to him, is its most famous son and then call OU students monsters because he thinks they are violent! And yes, he labels himself journalist, sorry a senior journalist.

The Ugly:
Well, enough has been said. Shaik Ahmed Ali of CNN-IBN has been a revelation.

In contrast, an alien NY Times (I & II) and Al Zajeera (I & II) did better, reporting things as they were which much of our own mainstream national media failed to do. We should just hope independent journals/magazines like EPW and Tehelka continue to write, debate and spread awareness about aspirations of people in this vast country and not let their genuine and democratic struggles go unnoticed and thereby alienating them from the ideals India professes to practice. After all, the measure of success of any democracy is the number of people's movements that blossom in it and not the absence of them.

My posts on Telangana:
TELANGANA IX: EPW goes on the Telangana trail
TELANGANA VIII: My letter to Sri Krishna Committee (SKC) - A case for demerger of Telangana
TELANGANA VII: Grossly discriminated against: Prof Bhalchandra Mungekar
TELANGANA VI: Why Telugu news channels bar coverage?
TELANGANA V: Plutocrats unleash terror over OU students
TELANGANA IV: Shri Krishna committee a crude joke
TELANGANA III: A case of Tyranny of Majority
TELANGANA II: Statehood at Midnight
TELANGANA I: Telangana Movement and the Plutocracy: The Gathering Storm

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please update yourself before publishing a post.

Shaik Ahmed Ali never reported the Telangana agitation. He only wrote two blogs (opinions) on ibn website. Infact, Nov.30 was his last day in Hyderabad office as CNBC Awaaz (Hindi business channel) bureau chief. A month later, he was sent to Chennai as CNBC TV-18 (English business channel correspondent). On Mar.30th he resigned from the group due to abdominal cancer.
CNN-IBN correspondents in Hyderabad is Preeti Singh and Anand Srivastava did all reporting for Telangana movement.
Why don't you understand the difference between a news report and a blog.
I know this guy for over a decade and he is a good person. Why are you targeting an individual who is battling with cancer?

Amar said...

@Anon,
No one would have cared for Ali's post if not for the IBNLive.com mentioning he was the bureau chief. That label stayed that way till the site was overhauled a couple of weeks before. I made this point in my previous post too. It is then he did those posts and it is the blog profile that informed us he is the bureau chief.

Yes, it could be his opinions and this is my opinion here and that is what we are discussing. Not him. You see the context of the post. Anyway, thanks for your input about Hyd correspondents of CNN-IBN. Thank You.

shirish said...

Tehelka article is fantastic anna. It is genuine magazine left in India.

Gattu said...

@ Amar,
Once again a nice post Amar. An eye-opener to almost everyone.

Mr. Anonymous,
A blog in the news channel website is more powerful.
If you find the extract of his post he used the word called "forced suicides" how can he comment on the persons who are not on the earth being in a responsible position?

Regards,
Gattu

Anonymous said...

once agian Amar u done it

Anonymous said...

you are welcome Amar ! (am the one who shared The Hindu article)

once again a good attempt at showing the ways media has interpreted the T movement...
the Tehelka article is much closer to the truth ... thx for sharing !

as for The Hindu, I was quite surprised to see that article... the paper is basically against Telangana...

and that snap stands out... afterall, a pic. is worth a 1000 words ... don't know how Mr.Sudheer missed it

anyways, am not sure if we can consider today's so-called national media (mainly the English news channels) as part of the fourth estate ... most of the times, they sound more like mere propaganda machines

sravan said...

I wish News Papers of tomorrow could be managed by most basic humanoid robots. That way they would be simply reporting and not analyzing.
Indeed, free will is hazardous sometimes.

Madhav said...

@Sravan:
I wish News Papers of tomorrow could be managed by most basic humanoid robots. That way they would be simply reporting and not analyzing.

"Every word is a prejudice! There are no facts, only interpretations" - Nietzsche

A point in isolation essentially means nothing except in relation with its environment. Hence the wilderness of facts are to be coordinated through a perspective...

For all the science fiction, robots will be unable to coordinate these bits and pieces independently, or they may have to be programmed in a particular manner which again is prejudice.

The solution is de-control,(which internet is already doing)..

Moreover,since masses aren't adequately equipped to analyse for themselves, I complete agree to newspapers' prerogative in expressing its informed & expert opinion..We never know what is correct until its past...The decision to be taken today has only to be independent and not neutral as its even more disgusting..

Newspapers have their own agendas, and even in US, seldom is anything written against Israel as Jews as a business class are extremely powerful in US. As long as you write for a living you have constraints...

Hence, blogs are more independent (not necessarily correct or objective either)...

Telangana Bidda said...

Good post!

Newspapers have their own agendas, and even in US, seldom is anything written against Israel as Jews as a business class are extremely powerful in US. As long as you write for a living you have constraints...

Hence, blogs are more independent (not necessarily correct or objective either)...


I totally agree with this one.

What media writes about the OU students is how media sees the under-privileged class. Had there been the budding politician sons on the campus, son of YSR or son of Naidu, things would have been said and perceived differently.

Media has a huge ethical responsibility of standing up for the weak. But, our media is too weak to stand up for itself. It is in the pockets of you-know-who.

Amar said...

@Anon,

The Hindu's articles reflected the genuine aspirations in most of the cases while the day-to-day reporting not surprisingly continued its traditional cynical stance on Telangana. But at least I dont remember seeing foolish stuff like that of Sudhir or Ali in Hindu.

Amar said...

@Sravan, @TBidda & @Madhav,

Analysis, for me, would mean first to hear both sides, examine their arguments, understand the issues, especially in the context of prevailing economic, political and social conditions and then lay out our opinions. Even the subjective analysis' more or less follows the same approach but with some spin, omissions and commissions depending on our agenda. Like that of JP.

I dont think we saw any analysis in reports of Sudhir and Ali. That was plain prejudice, without any garb of objectivity. Do a CTRL+F in their blogs and reporting and you wouldn't even find words like 'Irrigation', 'Projects' or 610.

I agree there is little objectivity in our media today and as you said its because of money power thats holding sway in today's capitalist world. But the reporting of NDTV or CNN-IBN we are discussing here have nothing to do with the networks's agenda. I think its all about reporters' prejudices.

syed said...

Infact I have read this article in a website called simplytelangana, wanted to see the roots of the article, very nice blog. Amar, would like to say onething, the SA dominated media started propagating different things about the formation of T and SKC opinion and recommendation, in this view, I think we should be more catious and aggressive.
BTW, lots of bloggers' names looks as known to me but missing from ST would like to see in ST as well.

Anonymous said...

//The Hindu's articles reflected the genuine aspirations in most of the cases while the day-to-day reporting not surprisingly continued its traditional cynical stance on Telangana.//

Amar,
not sure if the following can be termed foolish comparitively, but just in case if you missed this particular one, do check out the following links ...

http://www.hindu.com/2008/03/07/stories/2008030755461000.htm

http://www.hindu.com/2008/03/08/stories/2008030854831000.htm

Anonymous said...

Can you post an article on what are the benefits of Telangana state being given? I see you woke up only after the statement of home minister MAC. Instead of self proclaimed thoughts can you give a broader picture of what can be the benefits to a common man of Telangana. Now, please do it in simple english with least(if not zero) adjectives, idioms or grammmar or thesaurus centric words. See its already a war between Reddys and Velamas and Yadavs.... Pity middle class people like me.... I'd rather suggest you divert efforts to growth or anti corruption or population control....