Times Now’s editor-in-chief, Arnab Goswami has already had a lot to say about what he thinks about international broadcasters BBC and CNN. He now has reason to go after international magazine Economist which has mocked him and other “patriotic” journalists in India for their unquestioning attitude towards the government.
In its latest edition, Economist in a piece has pointed to the case of Dawn journalist Cyril Almeida and the travel ban imposed on him after his controversial report regarding Pakistan’s civilian government and the military.
The article points out that while the Indian press gloated about the Pakistani government’s restrictions imposed on the journalist, Pakistani media, rights groups and public rallied around Almeida to protest against the government’s action and managed to get it lifted.
The article then goes on to point out that the Indian media unfortunately has been far less analytical of its government’s actions when it came to the issue of the “surgical strikes” carried out by the Indian Army in Pakistan.
It points out the ridiculous features of the Indian media’s coverage of the incident, like the war rooms, referring to the neighbour state as “terror state Pakistan”, NDTV dropping P Chidambaram’s interview and Goswami’s call to jail critics of the government.
So why are some of the biggest media houses so biased?
The Economist article says that many blame the overt jingoism on media groups being concentrated in the hands of indebted big corporations that don't want to offend the government and on the rise of “chauvinist Hindu-nationalist groups”. But it does acknowledge that unlike in Pakistan, at least the Indian media doesn’t need to worry about being killed by either the government agencies or terrorists.
But it raises a valid question: Is the Indian government a little too sensitive about criticism? And as our columnist asked, why is the media bending over for the Modi government?