The media in India is highly politicized. This fact became apparent after the Radia tapes controversy came into the media limelight in November 2010. Nira Radia, a political and business lobbyist, was found to be part of a wide nexus among politicians, businessmen and journalists through which news was manipulated. Names of senior and celebrated journalists Barkha Dutt, Prabhu Chawla and Vir Sanghvi did crop up in this controversy but with media ethics of maintaining high journalistic standards lying in shreds, all of them continue to hold high positions even as the public trust in a partisan media erodes fast.
It is evident that the business of news has completely taken over the social service part of news. Paid news is not a secluded event that happens now and then, but rather it has become the norm. When political news is just paid advertising, it is no different in business, bollywood and sports news as well. As it is most news channels, newspapers, media houses and publishing houses are owned or controlled by politicians of different parties.
Here we take a look at the top 7 newspapers known to favor specific political parties in India.
7. The Tribune
The Tribune has always been a centrist newspaper covering the regions of North India such as Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and J&K. It’s been known to have a pro-congress attitude when it comes to choosing which news to print on the front page and which news to hide in small columns. It is rumored that Manmohan Singh only reads The Tribune and so doesn’t know what all is wrong with the government.
6. The Pioneer
The Pioneer is the second oldest English newspaper to be printed in India. It has always shown a pro-BJP, right wing, nationalist ideology. Chandan Mitra, owner and editor in chief of The Pioneer is a BJP member of Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh. The Pioneer has focused on pro-right movements emerging out of the urban middle classes.
5. The Statesman
The statesman has always been a left wing, anti-establishment newspaper. The only saving grace being that it has never pretended to be anything other than that. It has long been the newspaper of the left wing communists out of Kolkata. In recent times its circulation and power has seen a decline but there is no denying where it takes its ideological stand.
4. The Hindu
The Hindu too has been open about its ideologies and doesn’t shy away from being declared an organized left newspaper. It is controlled by the Kasturi family which has been sympathetic to the CPM.
N Ram, the editor in chief of The Hindu till January 2012, is known to be a card carrying communist. The newspaper has attempted to hold a high level of journalism and maintained its cerebral nature, but it has not stopped readerships in recent years falling dramatically.
3. Indian Express
The curious case of the Indian Express is really interesting. Ramnath Goenka, who founded the Indian Express Group was a member of the RSS and so the newspaper was always right wing in its nature. After his death the group has split in two and now there are two newspapers with opposite loyalties. While The Indian Express now supports congress, The New Indian Express continues to support NDA and right wing ideologies.
2. Hindustan Times
This newspaper is probably the worst case of partisan media. It can easily be mistaken for a Congress published newspaper as it has become nothing but a mouthpiece for Congress propaganda. It has roots in the Indian freedom movement and since then it has been a partner for the Congress party. It has a good strong hold in Delhi. It is managed by Shobhana Bhartiya who is the daughter of industrialist KK Birla and was a Rajya Sabha member of the Congress Party till 2012.
1. Times of India
The Times of India is the leading English language newspaper in India. It tries to present an image of being a nationalist newspaper but has not been able to shed it bias towards the UPA government, now and then. The Times support for the Anna Hazare campaign against the congress led government did bring it out to be counted as the leading voice of the Indian middle class, a strategic move for business gains. However, any thoughtful reader of the Times of India would know that it’s not really the voice of the public that it claims to be.