Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Modi focuses on Policy and Governance, English Media loses focus

The following article was written for MyInd Makers. Pasting it below for reference: 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave an interview to the news channel Times NOW yesterday. The full transcript of the interview is here. A nice summary of the interview has been written by MyIndMakers columnist Ramaharitha Pusarla here. Here is a bullet point summary of the issues covered in the interview:
  • Foreign Policy (NSG; Relation with China, Pakistan; The various other trips)
  • Inflation (including recent high prices of dal, tomato etc.)
  • Creation of Jobs
  • Black Money
  • Farmer crisis
  • Controversy around RBI governor
  • Logjam in Parliament
  • GST
  • Humour in public life
  • Ramblings of various “leaders” on communal issues

The Prime Minister has given some detailed answers for many of these, including some explanations of the nitty gritty of policy and execution. At the end of the interview, he has also requested one thing:
I just request you to not create controversies out of this (interview) but instead use it for the benefit of the country. 
Of the above mentioned points, what does the English language media of the country decide to highlight? Take a look at the compilation below:
I picked these up from the front pages of either their print editions or web editions – most of the English language media have decided to highlight only Modi’s snub to Swamy. And then they keep wondering why their TRPs or readership keeps diminishing! With such wrong priorities, it is crystal clear as to why there is widespread anguish on their coverage. On very random occasions, we have seen editors tweeting questions to the government on the exact same topics described above! (In fact Rajdeep Sardesai once asked why there is no crop insurance scheme for farmers, and when Modi announced the scheme, he couldn’t even do a 30 minute show on it!). These people wanted Modi to give a running commentary on the exact same issues Arnab spoke about, and yet when he did, they choose one frivolous issue and highlight it all over.
The regional media, in contrast, covered in detail about the September 30thdeadline to disclose all income; the insurance scheme; the inclusion in MTCR; the focus on poor etc. They even highlighted these issues on front pages.
Meanwhile, *after* the interview was telecast, good old NDTV still continues to carry a news item quoting their good old ‘sources’ – after the PM himself spoke his mind about this! Old habits die hard you see!


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