The article “Mass media: masses of money?” (Nov. 30) is a bold piece of journalism which exposed how a section of the fourth estate has become a tool in the hands of hoodwinking politicians. This misdemeanour is not a new phenomenon. If not selling the space for hot money, media houses have taken the sides of some political parties to reap the ‘benefit’ after they come to power. In Andhra Pradesh, for example, a popular daily steered a political novice to victory in the 1980s and was richly rewarded. It is no secret how the print and electronic media house run by a politician’s son contributed to the victory of a government in the recent elections. It is a tough task indeed making a distinction between ‘ads’ and ‘paid news.’
Syed Sultan Mohiddin,
Gone are the days when the press was mistakenly thought to be the representative of democratic government. In the beginning of the “Introduction to Mass Communication and Journalism” course, students are taught about the responsible functioning and the observance of code of ethics in the discharge of professional and social responsibilities by journalists. But the “money” factor has relegated the largely utopian concept of ethics to a mere preposterous stock. In almost all domains of news, style has overtaken substance. P. Sainath’s article is a ray of hope for ethics in journalism in India.
The article was in sync with Mr. Sainath’s earlier pieces on sponsored news becoming the order of the day in vernacular newspapers. It only goes to show the blatant self-appraisal politicians will indulge in for the sake of votes and popularity. The media is getting corrupted like never before.
The Hindu has taken a step forward in proving that the media can unveil the corrupt games of politicians. As responsible citizens, we expect the Election Commission to take necessary steps to curb the malady.