“The Indian media is politically free but imprisoned by profit”: P Sainath

P Sainath, the former Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu, is one of my favourite Indian journalists. He is known for his reportage from the Indian hinterland, especially in bringing into light the issue of farmer suicides and agrarian crisis. Sainath now runs People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI), a volunteer-run rural journalism platform in India. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjI9GhKqtxk His insightful commentary on the political economy of the Indian media highlights the perils of corporatisation of the news industry.

Why understanding citizenship is crucial for the future of news

In his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman anticipated the future of public discourse by contrasting the different worlds as predicted in two dystopian novels: George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. He wrote: “What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.

What is the “media” in India? Here is what the latest survey data tells us

Even a couple of decades ago owning a TV set was considered to be a status symbol in India. Not anymore. 25 years after economic reforms, more people watch TV than those who read newspapers or listen to the radio. More than 70% women and men watch TV at least once a week. The numbers are much lower for both newspapers and radio. These figures come from the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), which was conducted in 2015–16.