Need to set up a parallel media network: Tariq Ali

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Staff Reporter

`Two TV channels have successfully challenged the Western monopoly'

NEW DELHI: Noted political activist and writer Tariq Ali on Friday emphasised the need for setting up a parallel media network in all the regions, particularly in Asia, to break the monopoly of the West and give alternative news to people. "Al Jazeera of Qatar and Telesur in Venezuela are two perfect examples of this, which needs to be followed in South and East Asia as well as in other continents," he said.

Speaking at a meeting organised by the Delhi Union of Journalists, Mr. Ali said the two television channels have successfully challenged the Western monopoly of images and what was being shown to the people. "We need an Asian channel also so that people can get alternative news and not biased views and reports. Such alternatives are more crucial in areas that are under direct threat and pressure from the US and its allies," he asserted.

Similarly, globalisation was hurting free and fair journalism as well as the interests of journalists. "Big corporations are either usurping small media organisations or setting their own offices across the globe. They do not give jobs to journalists. They only hire those people who serve their purpose. This is a dangerous trend that needs to be altered soon," he pointed out.

He also highlighted how US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were busy resorting to media censorship. The removal of BBC's leading functionary was a case in point. ``These leaders do not want their failures and excesses in Iraq and Afghanistan to be brought to light and hence are suppressing the media. Either they themselves were doing it or their cohorts who control big media organisations were doing this on their behalf, he added.

Mr. Ali also lamented the decline of the print media in India. "Earlier print media in India used to be far superior than that in the West, but now that has changed. The decline in quality of print media is shocking. Serious newspapers are now into the business of infotainment and glamour. And there is an institutionalised apathy in this regard," he observed.




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