Brilliant analysis of TOI vs Hindu media war

“The debate isn’t just about differences in the way two newspapers interpret the relative priorities of journalistic subjects — an equilibrium that is eventually determined by the marketplace — but about the manner in which the Times has insidiously attempted to move the goalposts of journalism in the last decade. The paper hasn’t only blurred the lines between journalism, advertising and public relations, it has attempted to argue to readers that such a move is in their own interest, and in fact represents the forward-looking journalistic practice of a new age.”

“Times has supplied a new, entrepreneurial spin on the idea of “due disclosure” in journalism, and that this revised conception of integrity has led to the paradox of it being an especially untrustworthy guide to what is happening in India today. One senses that The Times would like to present itself as the Great Gatsby of India’s emerging Gilded Age, in which all traditional values are being churned and a new definition of success based on materialism is emerging — an ideal to which it must itself subscribe if it is at all to understand what is happening around it.

But in truth it may be closer to a journalistic incarnation of Balram Halwai, the clever, cocksure, coolly amoral protagonist of Aravind Adiga’s bestselling novel “The White Tiger.” It is possible, then, to see the recent war of words and images between The Hindu and the Times as a battle not just for market share, but between two different ideals of journalism: one that, for all its problems, discloses facts about the world, and another that explores the opaque idea that message is information and information is message.”

Source: India’s Top Newspapers war for readers Heart and Soul

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