Part 1- A survey on Ideologies & political leanings of English Language Newspapers
Wikipedia defines Media bias as “bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of which events and stories are reported and how they are covered. The term “media bias” implies a pervasive or widespread bias contravening the standards of journalism, rather than the perspective of an individual journalist or article. The direction and degree of media bias in various countries is widely disputed’ .
In case of India, media is accused of being favorably predisposed to a left leaning ideological position and nurturing a partisan political bias towards the ruling Congress establishment. Leaked Radia tapes clearly established how the discredited doyens of Indian media, while masquerading as neutral and non-partisan, actually operated on behalf of their political benefactors.
As part of establishing more rigor in to understanding the print media bias in India , CRI MediaWatch decided to select 25 English language newspapers based on host of criterion including audited circulation/geographical focus/online presence and decided to invite a set of eminent media experts to mark the selected newspapers on political leanings and ideological dispositions. The expert panel was also requested to provide details substantiating on why they marked the newspaper they way they did it.
To be fair we cannot claim that results of the survey were surprisingly. Results were quite predictable and establishes clearly that the accusation of centre-left/ Congress bias is not a myth created by vast right wing conspirators or outcome of a successful propaganda by right wing fear factory. In fact survey results demonstrate utter lack of counter narrative and abysmally low presence of right wing media outlets in English print media landscape
We tried to expand this study to cover the regional media landscape as well(see results tomorrow) and picture is even more disturbing. As one of our media experts so put it “We have two categories of media outlets in India -government owned or Congress controlled ‘” While we concede an element of hyperbole in that statement, he wasn’t far off the mark
Editorial team of CRI wishes to thank the expert panel for time spend on rigorous scanning of public literature on newspaper ,independent enquirers supplemented with their own knowledge of the media landscape