India’s 2014 general election was epochal in more than one sense. It defied the media pundits by bringing in a first non-congress majority government at the center. The long and eventful campaign before the election also brought out the fact that the main stream media of India couldn’t be relied on for providing accurate and unbiased facts – the fundamental role expected from the fourth pillar of our democracy.
Indeed the General Election was epochal because Narendra Modi led campaign almost completely bypassed the main stream media by using social media, volunteer teams, and direct campaigns. It won because it did so.
The main stream media continues to manufacture facts rather than reporting them. I received a small such sample from a friend. Here it is:
List of false and misleading reports by media
- Jaitley blames RBI for slowdown in manufacturing – Original Post, Clairification(2) (The TOI is always masterful in its ‘reporting’ )
- Girls in Gujarat record highest incidences of sexual abuse – Original Post(2), Clarification (The Indian Express always ‘betters’ itself while reporting on Gujarat)
- IITD director quits under HRD pressure because of dispute about Swamy’s unpaid salary- Original Post, Clarification (2) (another Times Initiative to discredit HRD Ministry)
- The same article said that the HRD ministry was pushing IIT Delhi to give cricket ground for use for Sachin’s academy- Original Post, Clarification
- Jaitley’s family used naval chopper to attend wedding – Original Post, Clarification
- Govt slashes health budget by 20%- Original Post (2, 3, 4, 5, 6), Clarification
- Ban of non-vegetarian food at IIT Delhi – Original Post, Clarification
- Fake voters in Varanasi – Original Post, Clarification
- Schools open on Christmas – Original Post, Clarification (2)
- BJP won’t disclose names of people having black money abroad – Original Post, Clarification
- Cancer drug prices increased manyfold – Original Post (2), Clarification
- Amit Shah “snubs” Uddhav – Original post (Front page, Mid-day), Clarification (2)
See for yourself how much you should be trusting the fourth pillar of our democracy -free media.
My opinion: we don’t have any easy substitute and our habits of trusting the printed word and TV visuals without questioning anything also are going to be hindrance. We just can’t form correct opinions by ‘consuming’ media.