Media is considered to be the fourth and important pillar of democracy. Others three being – Legislature (Parliament), Executive (Government) & Judiciary (Supreme Court, High Courts etc). Media is the source of all information to us. Apart from this, nowadays media also possess a lot of power and space in the country. But it is also said that unrestricted freedom gives space to misuse. Before going there, first understand the media industry in India.
Media has three broad sections today – Print Media, Electronic Media and Web Media. India is the second largest nation in the world and largest democracy in the world. So are the big numbers. India has more than 70,000 newspapers, magazines, journals (Print Media) and about 80 news channels.
Almost all of them are owned are private individuals or groups. Over 100 million copies are sold every day in India, making India the world’s biggest newspaper market. It is very obvious for a diverse country where there are about 1500 languages spoken and there are so many communities, religions which no other country has.
Rise of the Internet
With the rise of Internet, Smartphone & Social Media, Media has not failed to take its grip there. Though Internet Penetration in India is just 20 percent, it accounts for 300 million Internet users in India (about 90 percent accessed from Mobile phones). So popular mediums like Facebook & Twitter today, are dominated by a large space of Media handles.
What about the Money?
It needs money for 70,000 newspapers, 80 news channels and hundreds of media handles with million followers to keep running. So what are the sources?
You open a newspaper and you will find more ads than news in it. So for the 70,000 print media. Ads price range from very small ad of Rs.30,000 to full front page ad costing Rs. 7-8 Lakhs per day. Most of these ads are of corporate and industrialists who promote their products and services.
Same with electronic media (news channels) – they have ads every 15 minutes between the story and the charge of being on TV is much higher than newspapers. A typical 30 minute presentation of someone costs him between 5-10 lakhs. Every second or minute is calculated and charged. Same most of these ads are of big business enterprises who wish to promote their products.
- Investors and Shareholders
Generally all the media houses in India are owned as family businesses. Most of the private corporate sector and business heads are the investors and also have the share in the total revenue. As individuals, many political leaders from National & State parties also hold a significant share in the media companies.
So a media company is no less than a big business with revenues, advertisement, promotion, investors, and shareholders but with a lot of competition being in India. You have to be on the edge to get the top revenue and earn profits. More the number of subscribers of a newspaper, higher will be the rates of ads to be published. More the TRP (Television Rating Points) of a news channel, more the revenue collected.
The third and most important is the New Media or Web Media on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The followers of all major media handles are between 2 Million to 7 Billion. Their target is to make the people click the link and then you are surrounded by many pop ups and ads. Just in a day, any media handle earns about Rs.50,000 – Rs. 1 Lakh through the ads clicked on their website. This is more than what the traditional media outlets and is much easier for them.
The Way to Create Controversies & Earn Money
These are the sections of news you see normally:
- Top Stories
The media plays with the part where it knows the games can be played and revenue can be earned by creating controversies. They cannot alter news of Technology, Sports or Business. Out of these, under India section – these topics fall – Politics, Economics, Culture & Local. This is where the information is manipulated the most.
Understanding India first
India is the largest democracy in the world, means people can elect their own representatives by voting. It is also the most diverse country in the world. Indus Valley Civilisation is the world’s oldest civilisation. India is the world’s oldest, most advanced and continuous civilization. India has never ever invaded any country in the history.
India is blessed to have so much abundance of knowledge in its ancient scriptures which explains the scientific significance of all phenomena in the universe. Tirupati Balaji Temple and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in India both receive more visitors than the Vatican City and Mecca combined. India had the first university in the world in Takshila.
Major religions of the world – Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism were born in India. The source of all this religions is the Vedas, oldest scriptures of the world that has incredibly advanced concepts. India has second largest Muslim population in the world and largest number of mosques in the world (more than 3 lakhs). India is truly an incredible and multi cultural country.
How Media Picks News
In this huge country, there are more than 1000 news stories daily. But to earn more sensation to earn controversy and finally the revenue via TRP’s and Link Clicks, just 20 stories are picked, which are negative in nature. Human mind also has nature to get attracted to negative more than positive. So these 20 stories are served with attractive headings and stories and posted on TV and Web.
Today journalists in India don’t present the news, they give their own biased opinions and judgement. Journalism ethics are ignored and in no time, the news becomes a trend on Twitter which attracts the people to negativity and creates turmoil among people and communities. If media do their work with right passion, there can be so much positive aura in the country. Indian media is the real factor in fueling the hatred in the country.
Any tweet or post by the media handle is mass followed and is shared in no time in this age of information. Most of them are incomplete and inaccurate information. When it comes to apology part, there is very small post that they somehow publish but the damage has already been done and the future mistakes are not reduced by the apology.
Dividing the Country
For the sake and greed of money, the media is dividing the country. Any culprit is a culprit for whatever offence he has done. Such elements must be arrested and should be checked. But media first judges if he/she is Hindu/Muslim/Christian etc then make the story creative to attract the visits to their site. With their experience, they know how to increase their audience and revenue. They have a list of insignificant topics to keep running till they find something new.
Generally, the people in the country live in total harmony with each other because people here have stick to human values and faith, more than anything. India is the only nation which have given the world the motto of “One World Family”
Other Nations in The World
Pakistan, China, Japan, United Kingdom & Nepal have selectively censored the role of media in their country. So many websites are banned in Pakistan & China due to Internet Censorship. Media in United States is also limited to publishing too much negative about their country.
USA judges its population as Christians & Non-Christians (More than 70 percent are Christians) and gives high regard to their own culture and history. There are so many issues there too – Teenage Pregnancy, Gun Culture etc. In USA, more than 750,000 (7.5 Lakhs) Girls between 15-19 become pregnant every year. Gang Violence, Sale of Guns and weapons have resulted in so many deaths annually.
Indian Media is Not Indian
Problem with Indian Media is they have become so much greedy in earning money that they forgot the regard of their nation and sufferers are the innocent Indian masses, who become victim of inaccurate and biased information. Indian media actually does not represent India. India is much more beautiful and connected. The world is now looking towards India and Indian youth has so much talent and creativity that they can achieve anything they wish.
The Way Out
Youth must take pride in their country as they are the future leaders of this land. There are some news agencies in India, which do not work on Advertisement & TRP Model. News Agency is the organisation that collects news items and distributes it to newspapers and broadcasters. Following is the list :
- Press Trust of India – Facebook | Twitter
- Asian News Network – Facebook | Twitter
- All India Radio News – Facebook | Twitter
- DD News – Facebook | Twitter
Social Media as Watchdog
Indian youth should be active on social media without taking any sides. On social media, one can interact directly with media handles and bring out errors and truths. This tool was not available to our previous generations. With the help of active social media tools like Facebook. Twitter & YouTube, more transparency can come into working of government, media industry, business/brands through direct interaction on a open platform. But one must not use abusive, vulgar tone to express their words or spread rumors.
Let us be more aware and cautious that no one in the world can break the diversity of our nation. A right information from right source is more important to maintain the peace and harmony in the country and to rise above small insignificant issues and to think big for the nation and the world.