The article “Advertising, Bollywood, Corporate Power” (Feb. 18) rightly points to the state of affairs in the fourth estate. Rising food prices was indeed one of the important issues seriously under-reported in the print and visual media. The struggle of Adivasis and Dalits for their rights and basic needs is either ignored or bypassed by the media. Social issues like health and education, child labour, poverty, displacement, etc., are sacrificed at the altar of sensationalism. Many sections have a clear corporate agenda, for which they create news and do a partisan analysis based on false information. This tendency is stronger in the regional press.

R. Anil Varma, New Delhi

Television news channels go overboard most of the time. The Shah Rukh Khan-Shiv Sena controversy was featured ad nauseum. As for Rahul Gandhi's visit to Mumbai, the less said the better. The entire police force escorted him as he travelled on trains and visited ATMs. The visit must have cost the exchequer a huge amount of money but the media will not ask the question. One fails to understand why.

Anjali Sreekumar, Thiruvananthapuram

The article has done well to highlight the corporate media's malpractices. The media are called the third pillar of democracy not just because of their responsibility but also the power they wield. Their transformation into a money-obsessed enterprise is subtle, which is why they enjoy a free run without effective checks and balances. People absorb whatever is published without exercising discretion, thereby putting at stake what is most important in a free society — distinction between the good and the evil.

Yasir Malik, New Delhi

Contrary to perceptions, there is very little real difference among the multitude of 24x7 news channels crowding the spectrum. This is due to the lure of easy profits provided by stories that grab eyeballs. What the media fail to realise is that there are huge swathes of Bharat that do not care what Shah Rukh Khan or Amitabh Bachchan says. It is this India that struggles day in and day out to make both ends meet and has been the hardest hit by price rise and recession.

N. Sivaraman, Bangalore

The obsession with ‘breaking news' has reduced us to a state where sensational has become more important than real. The week during which Shah Rukh Khan stole the limelight was also the week that saw the highest number of farmers' suicides. The media, rather than contributing to the loss of people's faith in the institution, should endeavour to reinforce the trust in them.

Vaibhav C. Ghalme, Ahmednagar

The reason there is little incisive reporting is not lack of talented journalists. Business interests and newspaper houses do not offer them the freedom to do critical reporting. Much worse is the space allotted to readers' critical views and comments.

S. Subramanyan, Mumbai

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