Can the media address the issues that matter head on?
Can the media give voice to farmers, to the working class – all the people who are rarely heard?
Yes. At Newsclick.in, we believe an alternative to the corporate media is possible.
In today's world, the different forms of visual media have become pipelines to the consumer to sell brands and products. Even public broadcasting has succumbed to advertising. To maximise advertising revenues means paying greater attention to high TRPs.
Balanced news coverage suffers as a result. The risk of an original and critical perspective cannot be taken. The urban poor and industrial workers are largely missing in the Indian media, or that issues such as rural poverty and land struggles are glossed over. But advertising is the media’s main source of income. So it makes these compromises.
This is how advertisers exert control over the visual media.
Consider one significant behind-the-scenes fact about news channels: their budget for news-gathering is barely 5-10% of the total budget. International news coverage is almost entirely courtesy western news agencies, or feeds from international news networks. Naturally the Indian media replicates the biases of the western media, whether on stories from West Asia or stories on international terrorism. And as for Africa and Latin America, they are almost invisible in Indian news media.
But thanks to the Internet, there is an alternative possible to this dominant model of visual media. The Internet today, with increased broadband penetration and the phenomena of You-Tube and Google Video, has made it possible to reach a range of people in different places with both written and visual material. And this can be done at much much lower costs than what conventional TV channels need. The Internet has also shown us the power of networks: what any one group cannot achieve can be achieved if we network activists and groups. An Internet site can become a hub, with others either linking to or posting their material on what is viewed as an open, collaborative space. It is with this vision with which Newsclick.in was set up.
Based on the voluntary efforts and contributions of readers and well wishers, Newsclick.in covers and analyses key issues in today's world from points of view virtually missing from the coverage of the dominant corporate media.