Agenda of Taming Delhi Journalists

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The liberal journalist is this regime’s No.2 enemy. And dividing the media is a work in progress. Some have been turned. Others are being targeted. Among the second lot are national English newspapers packed with Lutyen’s Delhi journalists of the “liberal clique”. A probe, for Different Truths.

The conservative right in the country values ‘true Indian values’ even if to find what those values are requires travelling back in time to the Vedic Age or sit down with Union minister Dr Satyapal Singh, who denies with vehemence that he did not descend from the apes!

Dr Singh faced much ridicule for that ridiculous claim. If and when he comes face to face with Charles Darwin, he will have to explain. That is if he does land in heaven! Till then, Dr Singh’s complaint is with the left-liberal media which laughed at his claim. Journalists wrote humour pieces and cartoonists went ape-crap!

The liberal journalist is this regime’s No.2 enemy. And dividing the media is a work in progress. Some have been turned. Others are being targeted. Among the second lot are national English newspapers packed with Lutyen’s Delhi journalists of the “liberal clique”.

Liberal journalists are hard set-pieces. They won’t shift for love or for Rupaiya. It is harder than taming the shrew. Now, a right-leaning news outlet has come up with a suggestion to make a paradigm shift in “Lutyen’s Delhi Journalism” to rid it of “left-liberal cronyism” and “New Delhi journalists” with “superficial knowledge of what is “truly Indian.”

They are only good in English,” says the news outlet. Its solution: Pack national bureaus of English newspapers with 50 percent journalists from non-metro backgrounds. “Only a truly Indian media, plural both in terms of its content and constitution of the newsroom, will bring about a churning of ideas and values that truly reflect the heart of the country. Think of the richness of coverage, when a senior journalist from Nagaland reports on the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region in Delhi.”

Stating that national English newspapers have only some folks from Kolkata and a smattering from Mumbai and Chennai, it says: “You would hardly hear about a senior journalist in the national print media, who has earned his stripes from Thiruvananthapuram, Bhubaneswar or Shimla.”

The call to dismantle newsrooms is ideological and political: “This Indian century should project to the world a true picture of India — not a distorted view based on ideological blinkers. The English language Indian media should take cue from criticisms of becoming irrelevant seriously.”

Seriously? The right-leaning news outlet recently bagged an interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Its editor was never a “New Delhi journalist”. The ‘oust the liberal’ suggestion comes with the shaming of the “liberal journalist”, who is branded unprofessional; one who sucks up to chief editors who are not like editors of the New York Times! They do not spend years in places equivalent to New Orleans and Chicago in India – Thiruvananthapuram, Bhubaneswar and Shimla! The “liberal clique” of Delhi-based chief editors of national newspapers has packed national bureaus with “liberal” journalists who have a “questionable stance on many issues detrimental to the Republic.”

The conservative right is frustrated at the “collusion” between newspaper owners and editors-in-chief of national newspapers. They do raise issues that concern social justice and affirmative action but it is the stance they take on these issues that bothers the right-leaning conservative. “They (Delhi-based journalists) make one trip to Srinagar and think they’re experts on Kashmir.”

The Lutyen’s Delhi journalist is also a “sycophant”, a product of “cronyism” – his admission/promotion to the “national bureau” is not based on merit but happened because he’s “already there” and has “exhibited clear secular and liberal leanings,” goes the indictment.

“The more ‘liberal’ you are, the more opportunities for professional growth come your way — lateral job changes, conferences, access to sources, liaising with the global clique of foreign correspondents and so on.”

The shaming of the liberal journalist doesn’t stop there. The New Delhi journalist is “pernicious”. The “incestuous arrangement” stifles opportunities for meritorious journalists from other parts of India, who come with value systems and outlooks that are different from those of “connected” Delhi journalists. The New Delhi journalist’s “superficial information and consequent poor coverage shows up.”

The news outlet makes the claim that a journalist who has covered lower courts in small cities will have a better perspective when it comes to covering the Supreme Court! It sees the “imbalance” and wants to fix it. But is the news outlet’s understanding of the newspaper industry “superficial”? National newspapers have state bureaus and state editions to report/write on how national decisions/policies affect states. And nobody is stopping a talented journalist from gatecrashing Delhi bureaus. Also, chief editors do not make it a habit to promote cronies. They, too, have report cards to show.

The news outlet says English newspapers sorely need someone who is an equivalent of Modi or Obama to stem the rot. Modi is ‘conservative right’ and Obama is ‘left-liberal’. Clearly, equating Modi with Obama is quite a liberal leap!

Aditya Aamir

©IPA Service 

Photo from the Internet