Top 7 Newspapers Known to Favor Specific Political Parties in India

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.

Paid and Biased News - India

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

Tribune India LogoThe 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 LogoThe 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 LogoThe 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 LogoThe 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

Indian Express LogoThe 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

HT LogoThis 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 LogoThe 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.

Join the Conversation


  1. says: arvind kumar

    absolutelely correct not only these but other papers also either anti or pro to certain political parties.

  2. says: Jagriti

    This is the ugly truth we generally don’t get to know…the Fourth Estate now is all about business. For real and authentic news internet is the best source.

  3. says: Avay Shukla

    There should be legal safeguards( as in developed countries) to ensure delinking of business/ industry and the media. Things have come to such a pass in our country that the latest business model for some papers is to accept shares in a particular business( in lieu of money payments) for advertising slots for that company! What could be more blatant, unethical and a betrayal of the reading public? This disease, however, is not confined to the print media alone- the electronic media is also similarly compromised and corrupted. It is no coincidence that of the three newspersons mentioned by you in connection with the Radia tapes, two work for the electronic media. An unfavourable story on Mr. Vadra or Mrs. Gandhi will never make it to a panel discussion, whereas an obscure Minister’s stupid statement will be debated for days! You would be doing a great service to your readers if you did a similar story as the present one on these hypocritical channels.

    1. You are quite right in mentioning the news channels. It is the Times of India network that has started this practice of asking for equity in businesses for publishing their stories and apparently they do it openly. A sad state indeed.

      In fact political parties own more news channels than newspapers and magazines. I am working on an article about this as well and it will be posted soon. Keep reading.

    2. says: Mᵜāz Kalīm

      If I may: Which of those “legal safeguards in developed countries” are you referring to?

      Assuming you’re formally-defining “developed countries”, the press is and of itself a business!
      I would refer you to an entry-point in the very academic-dilemma about “business/industry’, as elaborated by an academician’s thesis summarised a non-profit legacy press itself — but dunno whether “the OP” would even be willing to publish my harmless-comment even in this form, let-alone URL.( Since I’ve a faint-recollection that I once submitted a challenging-but-innocuous comment to this blog-post quite a while ago. It’s nowhere to be seen, as of yet. Unless..)

      Bottom-line: The so-called “Corporate Press”, like virtually anything non-theoretical: Is not something to be understood THAT easily. It requires enough of time and energy to grasp the nuance. Something reflected by the very fact that your very “Indian” practice of not name-naming the conglomerate whose “papers” are involved in such innovative practices is in fact a widely-received, or shall I say: India’s #1 media conglomerate. There are no other “business interests” of them like Sahara®, for instance. And yet…

  4. says: Kameshwar Rao

    Thanks for outlining the leanings of the newspapers. I was looking for some right-side views, stopped reading TOI long back, the left and leftist newspapers have become somewhat irrelevant because of both the national parties seem to be addressing the needs of the poor, so the left are left without a cause.

  5. says: Prasenjit

    Well Sir, Directly or indirectly all news media shows the same news in a weighted form to some or the other alignmnet. Not only the owner, but even the concerned chief editor plays a major role in the same.

  6. says: chetan

    I stopped reading HT. It was completely pro-congress. Always showed Anna Hazare and Kejriwal in bad light. I am finding Hindu neutral.

  7. says: Sumt

    Times of india and their channel times now is completely pro BJP. It now hurts to see how media has bedome sponsored by political parties.

  8. says: Rohit Kaim

    Off lately I have realised that Times Now news hour which is most popular debate prime time on any english channel is biased. I was reading some blogs and people claimed it was pro congress but now in 2014, I feel that this is Pre BJP. Technically there may be a lot of points to defeat my argument but ethically not, reason, After newshour debate, they aired an Advertisement for BJP wherein a woman (portrayed as a housewife, frustrated with price rise). What does this mean?
    Ethically they should not have any advertisment related to any political party. Can someone enlighten me on this?

  9. says: avijit Bhattacharjee

    Agree with you. But did you cross check your facts while talking about the statesman.people in bengal knows its vehement anti cpim stance, very well. Times of India is apolotical but a corporate funded newspaper. Do you have any idea about ABP group

  10. says: mesh

    Thank u for all for throwing light on the facts can anybody tell me which is the neutral and unbiased newspaper and telivision channel

  11. says: frustrated indian

    TOI though being part of a family owned media group is quite clearly pro bjp as can also be seen from its sister tv channel Times now. The hindustan times is pretty evidently a pro congress newspaper.Though the hindu is without doubt leftist in its outlook but the reportage and analysis is by far the most unbiased that i have come across in the indian newspaper world.
    Hope this helps.

  12. says: RAJKUMAR

    News and NewsPaper can never be unbiased,otherwise it can be termed government gazette. A high degree of ethics and boldness to preserve it can make it reasonable in the present cont ext. Let us not dream for unreal things.

  13. says: testyourbrain

    The Hindu is a british-service paper, the coverage is always against Bharat and pro-British. One cannot write for them if you are a North Indian. Only English fellas and some south Indian connections can.
    Still living in colonial times!

  14. says: Sankalp

    I guess TOI is somewhat here and there. It has taken both Anti-BJP and Anti-Congress stand. It even gave space to Anna Hazare and later Kejriwal (AAP) when they both became trending topics. HT leads in being the top “anti-BJP” and “pro-Congress”. IE is slightly tilted towards BJP. Although BJP might not find much support among the top “branded” newspapers many local and Regional Newspapers our strongly pro-BJP. And now since the Govt has changes so will the loyalties of several Newspapers may swing.

  15. says: sanjiv

    i think indian express is also baised towards bjp ..they refused to put my comment that was completely neutral …i am not pro bjp or congress but whether modi should do fat for navratra or not should not be a article on any newspaper ..they refused to put my comment as i protested that this should not be the news ..i think it is funded by bjp now ..they want to control the media print+ electronic to mobilise pub opinion

  16. says: Zeeshan Haque

    The Statesman has always been neutral and upholds very high standards of journalism, yes its circulation has gone down in recent years but it has maintained its cerebral nature and political neutrality. Regular readers of this paper will vouch for this.
    It is very sad that most of the print and electronic media in our country is biased for monetary gains, journalism has ceased to be a noble profession and has become a business.

  17. says: media is now modia

    TOI is the most pro bjp newspaper you can find in India. I can not believe there are comments here saying they are pro congress. Have you people read TOI ? Some people have begun to call it the NDA ‘s personal diary.I agree with sheju , I think the Hindu is the only newspaper that gives you both sides of the story.

  18. says: karan pandey

    Speaking of news channels,
    India TV and Zee News are highly pro Modi/BJP. They support Modi govt very blatantly. Its visible to the extent of ridiculousness. See it yourself.

  19. says: Ajit Yadav

    Seeing that most are pro congress you need one or the channels to be pro BJP so you can judge between the two to get the right news

  20. says: vikram

    ndtv, abp , aaj tak news >> are congress mouth peace.

    znews, india tv, india news carry nationalistic approach not of bjp.

    ccn ibn,alzajeera >> carry foreign interests or communist interests

  21. says: sandeep kumar

    Very right analysis. All the major English news paper like Hindustan Times, Indian Express, TOI, Hindu are pro-Congress or left supporter. Even electronic media like NDTV, Ajtak, ABP News, India Today are by born anti-BJP. Zee news have nationalist view and India TV carry neutral view.

    1. says: Mayuresh

      Sandeep Kumar, you are a bhakt. You pointed out pro-Congress and left supporter channels. You forgot to mention Zee news, India TV, India news, and some more channels are pro-BJP and you call them neutral.

  22. says: ak

    it’s upto one’s conscience whether it is a bjp supporter or congress
    i trust ndtv and surely can vow for zee news , india tv and india news to be a bjp biased bit*hes….

  23. says: A.Borah

    Not at all. While individuals have a right to believe in one ideology at the expense of another, a newspaper has a duty towards the society. A Newspaper’s social responsibility is by definition, to be neutral and put the facts in front of the public.Ecept for the OP pages, and the Editorial, it should only report and not draw conclusions. This is because in a society like India, many people do not appreciate the difference between the NEWS and THE NEWS AND VIEWS. Columnists should also be there in neutral numbers.
    In the last 4-5 years, the Telegraph has gone from a being a respected paper to a pro UPA paper. Its a pity because the paper was one day one of the most readable newspapers of the country. But the cheese has to be moved from time to time, I guess!.

  24. says: Sunita B

    Sad to see but ultimately its common man who at the end gets cheated and left at the mercy of these few powerful people. The trust of common Indian citizen is completely robbed.Even if one shows some ray of hope,these parties through media and dirty politics tries to change mind set of Aam Janta and reap benefits out of it.

  25. says: Afshan

    All the news channel and news paper are biased they only spreading hatred in the country ,they are just puppet and biased they made India the worst nation of the world..

  26. says: Smita Nayak

    This article is excellent very good and very informative. Thanks to you for informing us about this.

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