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

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Modernity with a Brand

Reflections on the NDTV Takeover

The takeover of NDTV by the Adani Group points to the lack of regulatory mechanisms regarding media ownership in India. It illustrates that Indian media is rapidly heading towards media concentration. The takeover is a disconcerting marker of the growing infl uence of top business conglomerates on news media for their commercial gains and to serve their political patrons. Equally problematic are the trends of news, media organisations, and journalists turning into brands in the open market. These developments have posed a serious threat to the freedom of speech, a basic feature of modern democracy. Bhupen

The takeover of New Delhi Television (NDTV) by the business conglomerate Adani Group in NovemberDecember 2022 has raised in its wake many questions about Indian journalism and its relationship to democracy. The founders and promoters of this media organisation, Prannoy Lal Roy and Radhika Roy, having lost their majority stake, resigned from one of their main promoting companiesRRPR1 Holdings. Following this, a few of NDTVs journalists also resigned from the company, giving rise to polarised debates in the public sphere. However, most of these debates overlooked the complexities of media ownership in India that facilitate such acquisitions.

Acquisitions and mergers are the basic characteristics of corporate capitalism. The NDTV takeover received more public attention as NDTV, along with a few of its journalists, had acquired a brand value. Thus, concerns expressed regarding its takeover were more focused on the stardom of its owner Prannoy Roy and his allied journalists. The rise and takeover of NDTV, however, have to be problematised in the larger context of the private corporate ownership of news media, the resultant curtailment of the autonomy of journalism, the emergence of branded journalism, and threats to freedom of speech.

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Published On : 15th Feb, 2024

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