The Times of India is India’s most read daily. According to Wikipedia, the TABLOID reported a circulation of 3.14 million. According to a readership survey in 2010 conducted by Indian Readership Survey (IRS) it has a 7.035 million readership. What this means is, that the people of India, in one way or the other, are influenced by TOI, or form their opinions based on TOI. In effect, a bias could also mean that the people are proselytized as per the whims of TOI. This is troubling. Here is a short example why this could be troubling;
When I was in the newsroom and had to prepare for the 9 P.M bulletin, I was in for a surprise. The TOI reported that Karunanidhi has ‘deserted’ Dayanadhi maran when the CBI had conducted raids on the DMK member’s house and his acolytes. Obviously, I was in a dilemma as to my approach on the important piece of news. Until, I read other sources.
Dated Oct 10th 2011:
Surprisingly, all the other major dailies had a strict factual account of the incident. Take The Hindu for example;
Or The Headlines Today;
Or the Deccan Herald;
Or the Business Line;
Or the Indian Express;
EVEN YAHOO NEWS GOT IT RIGHT, for crying out loud!;
Somehow the folks back in TOI decided that a mere raid on the Marans, is not meaty enough. Why not add in a little masala Indian ishtyle?! But the problem with Indian masala is, it can give you a bad stomach the next day. After desperate attempts, the TOI had to change their news. Today, 12thh October, craftily ensconced in the inside pages of the colourfully designed tabloid, I found this;
And it left me wondering, how many of us have the time and patience to sift through 4-5 newspapers a day and get an unbiased view of the news?!
Here is another simple example of biased news;
This is a worrying trend from a newspaper that was much valued during critical times. During the emergency period, Indira Gandhi's government asked the people of India to bend, and many crawled, even cowered in fear. The Times of India famously escaped the government censors and wrote wittily on June 26th ,1976;
In the obituary column;
Death of O’Cracy: D.E.M. O’Cracy, beloved husband of T. Ruth, Father of L. I. Berty, father of Faith, Hope and Justice.
(For the ones who are slow; it reads" Death of democracy, mourned by the beloved husband of truth, liberty, father of faith, hope and justice)