Starting from year one, the first problems we faced were finances. The lack of finances meant that one lady had to toss the gambling coin in the air with the possibility of either getting it or losing it all, and guess what? We had the head, and the tail soon followed. It was totally a game of guts that we played. So far, the media has always been owned by the ‘rich’ or ‘capitalists,” who have their own backing and rely on them.
Thus, the basic idea of parallel media died, and pseudo journalism flourished right from the start. It was surely difficult for all of us to survive in the market. Soon, our journey continued, and year after year, we finally completed fifteen years this year. The honor of having a television media was about to succeed, but, unfortunately, we again met the wrong people at the wrong place.
Though there was a slight setback, that was not enough to stop us. We have promised to go ahead and reach out to keep extending our own records, year after year. Last year we came up with ‘The Democracy,” the digital video news portal. Bhagat Singh Koshyari, the former honorable governor of Maharashtra, inaugurated it. There are people who have taken power away from the people, but we believe in giving power back to the people. My motive this time was to bring back journalism where it belongs: for and by the people. Thus, we even came up with the idea of letting the common man, or the citizens of India, speak up and give out news about anything and everything that they feel is happening with factual evidence; thus, citizen journalism flourished.
With power returned to the people, it feels like we have accomplished a revolution. The event of coming out clean from various challenges itself was proof that we no longer needed to show more proof of our honesty and commitment. Honesty comes with a huge price, and we are constantly investing in it without hesitation. Wise once said that if you speak a lie, you need to remember and be smarter, but if you speak the truth, you just have to remember the event and rest in the knowledge that God stands right next to you. With high regards to my readers who have kept us strong and high respect to people who have taken the time out and contributed to our journey, thanks is a small word for them. We stand up with the pride of being what we are today and will continue carrying on with it. The journey was difficult, but difficulties are the only thing that is guaranteed in life, isn’t it? We have embraced the challenge of running the show, and we have proved once and for all that running a media house is not a game for industrialists only.
Money is the most important factor in running anything in this world; even your car needs cash to sustain itself. We are not even playing puppets with anyone; how do we ensure money?
The struggle story is always aspiring and very inspiring towards growth, but no one understands where it pinches in the shoe except the one who is actually wearing it. If your heart is true to what you wish to do, everything is possible.
The voice of the people has taken a toll over the past few years, and over the repeated incidents, people have become more and more intellectual, politically sound, and optimistic about the opportunities.
The growth of the country and the decline of the economy are all tied together. The last year in which we spent seems like a story summed up over a night full of caffeine running across the membranes and still pushing our adrenaline rush into the veins as we typed the stories for you, the readers!
There are many media veterans and individual entities that have made efforts to sustain authentic reporting and broadcasting. I’d like to mention a few names here, such as News Laundry, an independent news media company supported by readers. They recognized the importance of an independent news model and a free and accountable press in an industry dominated by corporate and government interests. But if you look at their viewership ratio, it is one to thousands as compared to mainstream media.
Their viewers are also their types, some neutral but most of them against the Modi government. I personally watch them for the reason they hoot these rabble rouser anchors. Trust me, these days, prime-time debates have become a sort of physical and verbal wrestling match. All chicken-headed newsreaders with one set agenda and the typical list of panelists, everything staged. Their only job is to keep people high on Modi, Hindutva, and temples, and the strongest dopamine is Hindu-Muslim.
We really need someone to tell the people that this is not for their good. The entire team at News Laundry is doing a marvelous job with a series of satires supported by exclusive research work.
Through media critique, reportage, podcasts, documentaries, comics, and animation, they bring you the latest in current affairs in innovative and engaging formats. But again, because they survive on people’s funds, they grow beyond their limit. Again, even if they manage to grow, a few lakhs of subscribers are not enough to compete with channels with hundreds of crores of viewers. The influence of television is greater, and audiences are conditioned by it. where all these indubitable commentators and YouTubers have limited scope.
Remember, our country has a larger population living in rural areas, and they have nothing to do with all these broadcasts; the urban population that subscribes to them are educated people who are already of similar opinion; perhaps this is the reason these people hardly play any role in influencing the mandate during elections.
Right-wing IT cells have successfully tagged them as anti-Modi and leftists; that is another reason those who are flowing in the wind of Hindu Rashtra are not keen on taking them seriously. An average citizen is not even aware that there is something called News Laundry or Dhruv Rathee’s show. Abrar Bhat, Ram Dutt Tripathi, Navin Kumar, Abu Aimal Azad, Mohammed Akram Ali, and Kunal Majumdar are a few examples of independent and neutral voices, but the collective viewership of all these people against the viewership of Sushant Sinha of The Times now is less than 50 percent. Sushant Sinha, Amish Devgan, Navika Kumar, and Arnab Goswami are the big sharks here.
Their influence on viewers is greater than that of these parallel media broadcasts. Ravish Kumar had a huge following and viewership in primetime, and he is doing equally well on YouTube. He is known as the “common man’s journalist. In mainstream media, Arnab Goswami has his typical dominance, and his viewers vouch for him.
The mainstream media are the actual players. They condition people’s minds; they create perceptions; they change narratives; and they successfully do business. They are the actual powerhouse in the hands of powerful people. No matter how hard the neutral or honest media houses make efforts, they will remain limited in their reach. There are obnoxious voices against the ruling government and its leaders, and these broadcasters go to all low levels of demonstrations; thankfully, they have only their kind of viewers.