India’s star news channels & Baba

P.N. Vasanti , Director of New Delhi-based multidisciplinary research organization Centre for Media Studies (CMS) writes in liveMint.com: 

A classic example would be the numerous shows featuring Nirmal Baba (alias Nirmaljit Singh Narula) on almost 35 channels, including 15 news channels. Paid slots showing a large number of devotees getting advice and solutions to problems have made this former businessman into a baba reportedly worth crores (a few reports claim an annual turnover of more than Rs.200 crore!)….

….They may find a place on our numerous channels, especially the dozen-odd spirituality channels such as Aastha TV, Sanskar TV, MH1 Shraddha, Sadhna TV, Dharm TV, Paras TV and Sanatan TV. They may even help hold up ratings on a general entertainment channel.

….My issues are twofold. One, these are paid slots and not news or current affairs programmes, so what are they doing on a news channel? Many channels do not even inform the viewer that it’s a paid programme and not produced by their channel. Second, where is the moral and ethical responsibility of any news media in promoting such blind faith and superstition?

…In September 2011, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) issued an advisory to its 45 member channels “to voluntarily improve the broadcasting standards by desisting from airing such reports (on matters propagating, promoting and advocating superstition, occultism and blind belief)”

….And yet, we see a large number of NBA members such as Star News, Aaj Tak Tez, IBN7, India TV continue to promote and regularly show paid programmes featuring Nirmal Baba, even today.

She also heads the CMS Academy of Communication and Convergence Studies. Read the full column http://www.livemint.com/2012/04/18222552/NEWS-MEDIA-AND-IRRATIONAL-BELI.html?atype=tp

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3 thoughts on “India’s star news channels & Baba

  1. Pingback: The Love Triangle of Godmen, Indian Media and the Naive Public | media laundry- @Dhobitalao

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  3. Pingback: Indian Media: The Great ‘Kannada” News Channel Circus | media laundry- @Dhobitalao

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