Why does Ravish Kumar’s conclusion about current state of Indian media stay wrong?

Ravish Kumar recently made some bizarre claims that once again exposed the venom filed in his mind against Arnab Goswami and the ruling establishment. 

NDTV’s Senior Executive Editor-Ravish Kumar recently interacted with students during Manthan Samvaad event on journalism. The program was held in the city of Hyderabad on October 2. During the question and answer session, Kumar shared his opinion on several issues. Some of his answers were apparently a distortion of the facts. Something that he should have had refrained from saying, at least in front of young journalism students. Plus, his conclusion and analysis on several issues shared during the event seem entirely wrong. Let’s take a look at some questions and Ravish’s misleading answers for them.

More of anchoring and zero reporting

The question was related to how the difference of opinion between the news anchor and the owners of the channel is handled. But, Kumar took the discussion in another direction.

He claimed that earlier newsgroups had 50 to 100 reporters, and this is the reason, it was difficult to suppress any news story. The news used to reach public from one reporter or the other. But during the last ten years, reporters are replaced by superstar news anchor(s) everywhere.  These star journalists adjust themselves according to the party in power to retain their position. These stars just wear a tie-coat and ruin the country within an hour.

Kumar’s answer is highly debatable. As far as reducing the number of TV channel reporters is concerned, only Ravish’s employer-NDTV has done the same recently.

No doubt, star anchors do exist but claiming that stories are suppressed sounds idiotic. Several news portals and blogs have been launched during the last ten years. Now, in this era of social networking sites and online journalism, journalists do not need to depend on MSM anymore. News portals are always ready to grab exciting stories. Even RTI activists have their blogs to publish their findings. Thus, selective reporting is no more possible.

What Ravish conveniently forgot to mention is that news suppression was common during Congress regime.  Under Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and P. V. Narasimha Rao’s rule, TV journalists had to get clearance from politicians before airing news shows.

Hatred towards the BJP was visible

Kumar used this discussion for Arnab bashing instead of guiding the young students with relevant answers. He used every opportunity to criticize the Republic TV’s Editor-in-Chief indirectly. On being asked about his opinion regarding positive aspects seen in Arnab, NDTV’s senior executive editor said there is nothing good about Goswami. He also indirectly criticized Lok Sabha MP Hema Malini for featuring in water purifier ad. This criticism seemed unwarranted. Criticizing the former actress for working in commercials does not make any sense. At least she did not rob anyone or was not involved in any scam, was she?

At one point, Kumar said we all should respect disagreement; respect those who oppose our thoughts. But, it’s clear that NDTV’s senior executive editor himself does not respect those who oppose his employer’s propaganda.

Ravish Kumar questioned the genuineness of news channels that currently get Government ads. The sourness was probably due to his master’s financial condition.

On being asked about his opinion regarding Rahul Pandita’s “Inside the Hate-Modi Industry” article, Ravish said he would love to join the industry if it exists. He claimed that there exists a pro-Modi industry and not hate-Modi. According to Kumar, 90 percent of journalists are pro-Modi, and they often hesitate, avoid speaking against politicians who enjoy significant public support.

After hearing this explanation, the first question that arises in mind is that how can Kumar deny the existence of such industry when one can see how some journalists have made Modi-bashing their whole and sole aim in life?

As far as questioning the government’s decision(s) is concerned, let’s accept that some channels do seem to be pro-BJP. But, 90 percent is something that no one would agree upon because there are several channels like Mirror Now, News 24, ABP News, CNN News 18 and others that often fearlessly organize debate and question that government from time to time. Even NDTV does that on a daily basis.  Besides TV channels, there are websites like The Wire, Scroll, Alt News, The Logical Indian, etc. that work 24*7 to come up with story ideas for criticizing the Modi Government.

One of the participants questioned Kumar about the criteria set by channels while selecting experts to participate in their debates. The senior journalist said there are no criteria as such.

The answer’s entirely misleading. Experts are selected as per the topic to be discussed during the debate. Experts with considerable knowledge about the issue are chosen.

As far as NDTV is concerned, it won’t be wrong to say that Kumar’s channel picks typical libtard(s) and Pakistan lovers in every discussion. So, claiming that there are no criteria for selecting expert is a false answer.