Media fails to veil its bias at Sena rally



The Shiv Sena’s annual rally at Shivaji Park saw the English newspapers playing into the hands of Thackeray as they `roared’, `slammed’ and `passionately hit out’ to his tune.  A high decibel delivery from the ageing tiger has set the war drums beating again, reports GEETA SESHU reports in The Hoot.

The journalists had their own pet terminology, using words that actually revealed their inherent biases. Their use of language and descriptions also conspired to leave out or water down some of the more blunt utterances, and one wonders if this amounts to self-censorship of an unpleasant comment to ‘protect’ the Sena leader from any possible reaction.

Years ago, when the Sena was a stronger party than it is today, journalists discussed the importance of accurate reportage of the Sena leader’s speeches and press conferences. Often, journalists who were critical of the Shiv Sena or even a little more ‘objective’ in reporting the party, were shut up by their own colleagues at press conferences, before they could even ask inconvenient questions. Journalists tried to avoid using terms like ‘supremo’ that were routinely used to describe the Shiv Sena leader.

As the party’s fortunes waned, news reports on the party also achieved some semblance of distance. Clearly, as reportage of yesterday’s rally demonstrated, all it takes is a high-decibel roar from the ageing tiger, coupled with the promise of a cub-in-waiting for the beating of those war drums in print.

via The Hoot Story Page – media, press, subcontinent, media ethics, media watch, media research, media conflict, media gender, community radio, Unescos.

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