ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Cobrapost sting only confirms what was already known about the Indian media.

India’s mainstream media is in crisis. Only it refuses to accept it. Instead of using the opportunity of exposés, like the recent one by Cobrapost, to introspect, major media houses prefer the view provided by digging their heads deeper in the sand.

On 25 May, Cobrapost, an investigative web portal, released into the public domain the second part of what it called Operation 136, the number denoting the Indian media’s world ranking on a press freedom index (it has since fallen to 138 out of 200). In the first part, Cobrapost conducted a sting operation on 17 media houses using a hidden camera. A reporter pretending to be “Acharya Atal” from a fake organisation called Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Prachar Samiti met marketing and advertising personnel of these media houses. He offered them large sums of money in return for space to first spread soft Hindutva by way of religious messages, then critical and sarcastic messages about opposition leaders, and then strong pro-Hindutva messages by polarising figures in the Sangh Parivar. No deals were actually signed, but the very fact that someone from a media house was willing to engage in such a discussion was damning enough.

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Updated On : 6th Jun, 2018

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