14 farmers committed suicide and the Times of India said no one died

The Times of India did not hear of any dead people because Monsanto paid for the taxi from the city to the village for its reporter. Or is that all that Monsanto paid for? P Sainath in The Hindu:

The 2008 full-page panegyric in the TOI on Monsanto’s Bt Cotton rose from the dead soon after the government failed to introduce the Biotech Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill in Parliament in August 2011. The failure to table the Bill — crucial to the future profits of the agri-biotech industry — sparked frenzied lobbying to have it brought in soon. The full-page, titled Reaping Gold through Bt Cotton on August 28 was followed by a flurry of advertisements from Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech (India) Ltd., in the TOI (and some other papers), starting the very next day. These appeared on August 29, 30, 31, September 1 and 3. The Bill finally wasn’t introduced either in the monsoon or winter session — though listed for business in both — with Parliament bogged down in other issues. Somebody did reap gold, though, with newsprint if not with Bt Cotton. [Full story]

Why do people read the Times of India when we know it tells us lies that corporations pay it to tell us?

Where do the defenders of the free market disappear when stuff like this comes out?

3 thoughts on “14 farmers committed suicide and the Times of India said no one died”

  1. I’m sorry, I fail to see a connection between the unethical behaviour of a newspaper and ‘The Free Market’. If your argument is that the ‘Newspaper Market’ is ‘Free’ and therefore, nobody should be reading a rag like the Times of India, then I am afraid your facts are all wrong. The Newspaper market is far from free. You need to be registered with the government of India to publish a newspaper. Furthermore, in collusion with government machinery, the Times of India ensures that no other paper can set up shop. For the longest time, the Hindustan Times and the Times of India have been running a cartel and they frequently collude. This collusion is endorsed and guaranteed by the government. Last I checked, a Cartel is a restrictive trade practise and against the law. If the government is actively preventing a free market from flourishing, I fail to see how this is ‘The Free Market’s fault, whatever that means. The Newspaper market in India is a government-sponsored oligopoly, and that is why you have the horrendous quality of news that you see before you. Further, as far as the media industry goes, a ‘Free Market’ in newspapers or TV would only exist if there was ‘Free Speech’, which does not exist in India. It would be advisable that you go and get a rudimentary education in Economics before expounding on it. I believe there are entire college degrees devoted to the subject.


  2. But Shivam – on April 16, 2012, under the post entitled “Why does Rata Tata Have a Diplomatic Passport” you said, and I quote, “One can only trust what a newspaper publishes.” Where is this trust now, Shivam, where that wonderful glowing faith of April? May is the cruellest month….


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