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

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Media and Corruption

The media, which is referred to as the fourth estate, is the central pillar of modern civil society – external and independent of the state. It is supposed to be the principal agent of public vigilance. Therefore, it is imperative that the media in a democracy remains free of commercial interests and autonomous vis-à-vis the state. But, unfortunately we witnessed prominent media personalities acting as intermediaries between the state and commercial interests, moulding public opinion through manipulation and control. More over, the corporate media itself was involved in the cover-up which raises serious questions about its credibility. It was another form of “paid news” and it was only due to alternate media like blogs and twitter that these issues remained in the spotlight.

However, there is a larger process operating in the Indian media that is making it more corrupt and devoid of ethics and values. Media in India is becoming more “hyperreal”, in the sense that Jean Baudrillard used it to mean that there is no longer a “reality” that television allows us to see. Indian news television constructs a new reality which is different from the ground reality and this new reality is considered as ultimate and true by the people who view it. Duplicity becomes part of corporate media culture and hypocrisy is embedded in the character of the public personality.

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