‘Mainstream media under attack from liberals, the establishment’

Shekhar Gupta attends Press Club foundation Day

Editors Guild of India president Shekhar Gupta has said mainstream media is under attack from liberals who believe it is not standing up to the establishment on the one hand, and on the other by the establishment which is trying to discredit it.

Mr Gupta was speaking at the 54th Foundation Day of the Press Club Hyderabad on Saturday. “Classical, old fashioned journalism is under pressure from both sides. And that is the difficult area we now have to navigate,” he said.

He asserted that the establishment has realised media is a small industry and that it can set up its own media. The establishment, he said, is only speaking to its own ‘base’. “Donald Trump speaks to his base, [Benjamin] Netanyahu speaks to his base, [Shinzō] Abe speaks to his base, Narendra Modi speaks to his base. They all say ‘sab ka saath, sabka vikas’, but basically the ones you bother about are those who vote for you. All the rest should have known better,” Mr Gupta opined, adding, “They have figured out that they can have their own loyal media which speaks to their base.”

He said that chief ministers in India are powerful and apart from finance, and law and order, they control the media as they control advertising. They can stop advertising if they find reportage critical of them. He observed that chief ministers have been employing ‘former prominent journalists’ as advisers.

‘Grow a spine’

Mr Gupta advised journalists to grow a spine and thick skin. He also told them “not to let voting preference colour our editorial judgment”. This, he said, can be achieved by “sticking to facts”.

Mr Gupta later handed Best News Photo awards. The second prize was handed to Ch. Vijay Bhaskar, Chief News Photographer, The Hindu, Vijayawada. Consolation prizes were given to K.V.S. Giri, Special News Photographer, The Hindu, Hyderabad and V. Raju, Principal News Photographer, The Hindu, Vijayawada.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 7:53:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/mainstream-media-under-attack-from-liberals-the-establishment/article28230659.ece

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