The reason why English newspapers do not figure in the list of the top 10 dailies in India is simple — a majority of them do not relate to people and to the ground realities. Mrinal Pande’s piece (Nov. 18) analyses the media scenario by quoting Peter Drucker in the beginning, Rupert Murdoch in the middle and Habermas in the latter part — all foreigners. When the Indian situation is analysed by western modes of reasoning or is based on western models, the findings and conclusions are sure to be negative and disastrous.
Having knowledge of English and acting as a protagonist of the English culture are two different things. It is sad that senior journalists consider progress synonymous with westernisation. If someone can deride his own culture, his intellectual credentials are instantly established. Even geniuses in vernacular languages get no recognition because editors dub them insular, traditional, rightist or out of tune with the times. English newspapers need to do some introspection and publish what is in consonance with the country’s ideals. They should stop publishing what is vulgar or nauseating to the Indian eye.
Satish K. Kapoor, Solapur
Mrinal Pande’s sensitivities on the loss of ethical and moral standards of the Fourth Estate are understandable. In their bid to secure a sizable chunk of money in the capital-driven economy, many reputed national newspapers have bartered their honesty and ethical standards.
The recent Maharashtra elections and the role of certain newspapers in selling space for selective political coverage is another example of falling standards in the print media. If the print media moguls merely focus on making money, relegating their ethical duty to be honest to their readers, their products will surely find their way into the dustbin, unread.
Chandran Dharmalingam, Lovedale
Mrinal Pande has rightly put forward the question, “what are the media for?” This is very much in the minds of the people. The obvious answer: to make money. However, while she has written at length on “political advertising” and selling of “news space,” why did she not talk about the widespread practice of surrogate advertising of consumer products? Such a practice is not confined to language newspapers alone.
Narendra Tomar, Ghaziabad