Wednesday, 14 May 2008

What we don't say!

The Calumnist in his excellent blog "What we don't say" mentions that newspapers are pushing stories about farmer deaths and Floods in the east to obscurity because we - the readers - do not want to read about it.
"So, yes, the Indian media does largely reflect only the concerns of the upper and middle classes. After all, they are the 'customers', the people who buy papers and magazines, and the goods advertised in them and on TV. No one's really digging for the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid yet.
That's why papers tend to push away drought and flood and farmer suicide stories to the inside pages, where they are reduced to briefs, space permitting. TV usually doesn't bother at all - there's IPL now, and other masala. Besides, it costs more to run a TV channel. You need more advertisement revenues. No advertiser really wants to pay top rupee for space on a channel about bhookha-nanga (hungry-naked) people. It's just not cool enough.
This is only the half of it, and it should be of concern to us all. However, what's never spoken about is the more insidious omissions that advertising money forces upon the media."
Also, in the same post he writes,
"The cost of production of a day's newspaper is never less than 6 rupees for any of the major papers in any major city in India. The papers are sold for half that price or less. The accumulated losses have to be compensated somewhere, and a profit generated. The more the copies sold, the more the losses to be recovered.
That money comes from advertisements. So dear reader, when you pay a pittance for your paper, please know that you are pushing news media to economise on the truth."
Read more posts from the Calumnist at his blog.