Sunday, August 12, 2007

media divide in Hyderabad

This is something as old as the hills, but it's getting sharper by the day. The media divide, so to speak or the perspective of the Urdu Press, in contrast to English and Telugu newspapers. I wrote of it under the caption, 'media fault lines' some weeks ago.
The Tasleema Nasreen case is a good example. The Munsif published a survey yesterday, with most respondents saying that the MIM's attack was an eyewash, an instance of 'match-fixing'. They felt that the writer was allowed to get off lightly. A photograph on the same page showed an MIM MLA ready to hurl a boquet at the Bangladeshi writer and the caption said--"What should be thrown at her: a boquet or a slipper"? The Aitemad tried hard to explain to its readers that the MIM had done all it could and cited Tasleema's statement to the media that she thought she would be killed, to prove its point.
The television channels, meanwhile, highlighted the incident. For instance, tv9 ran a half-hour program on it. One wishes though, that they (the tv channels) found somebody who told them what the Urdu press had to say. After all, Urdu newspapers represent a sizable section of the city's population and it doesn't help not to take their viewpoint into account while running opinion polls, commentaries, analyses and talk shows on such subjects.
All this tells us that the fault lines that divide the print media--there aren't enough Urdu television channels to comment on the electronic media--run deep and keep getting deeper.

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