Hitting The Lows

Prof. Govind Ji Pandey:

Election 2019 is turning out to be interesting in many ways. Pre-poll alliances of political parties have been making news well before the announcement of poll dates. Two parties with completely different ideologies, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, have come together in Uttar Pradesh with the sole aim of unseating Bharatiya Janata Party. SP and BSP do not even have a common minimum programme for the electorate to examine, appraise and vote upon. Such political combines are more visible this time than in any previous election, but how ethical and effective they will turn out to be is surely a matter of conjecture.

The media scene is not very different either. Media entities, be it electronic or print, have drawn their battle lines, trying to outdo the others through bombardment of news (real or fake) with partisan agendas. If one news channel is searching for news to make the ruling alliance look good, the other is ready to dissect and debunk it with gusto. Wrong or right has no place in media portrayal, rather it is more about which media house is subscribing to what political ideology. Media reports are filled with data and more data, analysed with biased interpretations by pundits in TV studios. Such portrayals are creating doubts about the role of media as gate-keepers. Public opinion about the media is already low as it is, but blinkered and biased election coverage is making it all the more difficult for media houses and journalists to regain lost credibility.


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