Book Review

Review: Communalism of Media

Er. Saiful Islam for BeyondHeadlines

1662420_601215513306589_700262088_nEdited by: Anil Chamdia

ISBN: 978-81-9268527-4


Avnish – Member of Media Studies Group and Assistant editor of magazines ‘Jan Media’ and ‘Mass Media’.

Krishn Pratap Singh-Senior Journalist and Writer.

Anil Chamdia– Chairman Media Studies Group. Editor of magazines ‘Jan Media’ and ‘Mass Media’.

Amir Ali Azani– Social worker and Editor of magazine ‘Navnirmiti’.

Sharad Jaiswal– Assistant Professor in Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University.

Ursla Rao– Senior Lecturer of Sociology and Anthropology in University of new South Wales

Mukul– Associated with Amnesty International Human Rights Organization.

Charu– Associate Professor of History Dept. in Delhi University

It is the era in which Media is dominated in whole world. And no doubt it creates lot of effect on us. The book is an inside look of this effect. It is a compilation more than a book and whole study is condensed in a book. This is an effort to show the involvement of media before and after communal incidents. Author tries to convey that dependence on media to decide our social issues must be controlled otherwise it is a sign of danger for future. Research shown in the book tells how should be media’s role in conveying news but how media is paying its obligations. For this, Author has focused some severe riots happened and showed media’s inclination. Author does not have sympathy with any community and author does not support for any community just attempts are made to expose media’s role that it is playing. Many of astonishing facts came across while going through book. Some of the cases focused are- Muzaffar nagar riots, Faizabad violence, Akot riots, Water movie controversy and media, Ayodhya (Babri Masjid Demolition).

Authors have chosen content analysis method for study about role of Media in Muzaffarnagar violence. The subject of study is news published in newspapers related to riots. Paper cuttings of these newspapers Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala, Awam-e-Hind and Dainik Prabhat are collected. Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala and Hindustan are most read hindi newspapers. These contents are analyzed for various facets of news published in newspapers. “2010 edition of Norms of journalistic conduct” issued by the press council of India is considered basis of content analysis criteria. This Norms serves as the interpretation guidelines for reporting in environment of community struggles. This study can be called as the study of key characteristics of mainstream media during riots. Eye- opening facts are revealed after study. Though the systems provides guidelines for media but it is revealed how media ignores and successfully achieves its communal intentions. How smartly media controls people’s thoughts in the way it wants. This action can be good but most of times it proved harmful.

Discussing about the role of Media in Faizabad riots, author mentions some of incidents regarding media people, also some of famous words are mentioned that are often used to make news communally sound. In this case also media hides truth and goes against guidelines creating more tensed environment that involves publishing of rumors also. It clearly appears how much sensational contents are important for media rather than news. No truth is found in Media’s published facts after investigation. Even media blames administration and police without giving proofs.

Some study done on atrocities happened in Akot (Akola) also reveals involvement of media in fueling tension. It is very rationally explained media’s escalation on one side and that it follows its self-will.  Contents of Hindi, English, Marathi and Urdu newspapers about Akot communal violence are studied and analyzed. Analysis gives straightforward conclusion that Media speaks language of one community rather than publishing news and doing its job of providing what is happening.

Potential of media can be experienced from the way it created turbulent environment before release of water movie. Whatever media spread to create a big issue it was a totally different experience for those who saw incidents from their eyes. Media’s approach of exaggerating issues can turn the stone to hill and a hill to stone. Statements given on Water movie of several personalities were mentioned. Most of them uses media as their way to get prominence and comes into limelight. Media is major cause behind it that reality of issue stays apart.Also Businesses and journalists seek to benefit from the Media for monetary reasons.

Ayodhya incident was rationally explained through Liberhan Ayodhya Commission of Inquiry that how it was completely controlled. Organisers of Ayodhya incidents identified media in a form which presents matter in a distorted manner and gains economic benefit by creating sensation and excitement among people. It is taken into consideration because many of times media goes out of control and attempts to control media also prove to be weakening many times. Later studies in book are on media contents regarding Ram birth place- Babri Masjid controversy. Count of media’s coverage on communal riots shows their interest in picking up news to publish. Main newspapers focussed are Indian Express, Jansatta, Navbharat Times, Veer Arjun (All Delhi edition). Reporting in newspapers, titles of news and editorial contents are analysed separately. Authors approach is rational. Author first gives background of controversy and effect of media in eighth decade then analyses newspapers’ contents which exposes media’s ignorance in properly investigating critical issue that stands matter of big turbulence. Anyone can conclude with this authentic analysis that media disregarded real history and considered stories and imaginations for reporting. Study also proves that media keeps apart all basic principles and follows its self-will in dangerous way which is a must read. It reveals that media can cross any limit.

Considering the outrageous behaviour of Media a memorandum is submitted to press council along with the report of Times of India, India Express, Jansatta, Navbharat Times, Dainik Jagran, Aaj, Swatantra Bharat, UNI, PTI. A short study presented on pictures cartoons in newspapers pointing certain issue.

A comparison of different newspapers regarding certain issue is discussed. Newspaper speaks language of some political party. Media interrupts propagation of thoughts and refrain its readers from their right of knowing basic and true information. Some mind boggling facts are mentioned in this regard.

People who blindly accepts every sayings of media, this book explains how much harmful this approach is. To know about discrimination and selfish approach of Media with authentic proofs it is worth reading for all. Indeed a real eye opening compilation that exposes true face of media. A need to keep eyes and ears open regarding media is expressed also efforts should be taken for secular and democratic media.


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