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

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They Who Know Not What The Media Is

Many in India are lamenting the hostile takeover of NDTV by the Adani Group. At one level, this is a desperate attempt to silence the voices that stand out as independent in today’s increasingly controlled media space. But what really will be gained by one more channel singing the official tune? It, of course, controls criticism of the government, but it will also signal that the future of the media may not be in large enterprises that give in or get taken down rather easily.

 

The Adani Group has now taken control of New Delhi Television (NDTV), and crying out foul are all those who held that this was one media house that stood out because it was owned and run by those who worked as journalists first and businesspersons later. As the argument goes, this hostile takeover is proofif proof was requiredof how totalitarian tendencies play out, with government-friendly corporate honchos buying out dissenting voices.

All of the above may well be true but if that is all there is to it, then this is nothing newit is an age-old game of power and control to manage the narrative so that the stories told are a more favourable version of the narratives that please the powers that be. Others have played this game before, including various preceding governments and business leaders with excess cash. What is different this time though is the nature and the scale of the takeover, not of one television station alone but of the station as an example of a generalised, normalised brazenness of the venture that seeks to control voices down to the last mile and the method used to achieve that goal. In this larger game, one television house is but one halt on the expressway on which the nation is called to move aheadsupposedly faster, visibly less freely.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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