Tag Archives: Niira Radia

The Great Indian Media Hoax Of Self-Regulation: Ruchi Gupta

Guest post by RUCHI GUPTA

[This post was initially published in the Times of India and removed from their site soon thereafter.]

With a comfortable gap of time after the revelations of paid news, private treaties and the Radia tapes, the media is once again on the offensive to guard its independence. The trigger this time is a private member’s bill, the Print and Electronic Media Standards and Regulation Bill, 2012. The proposed legislation has been widely and energetically panned by the industry, with the Congress subsequently distancing itself from the Bill. The Bill is not available in the public domain; however based on news reports, some provisions could perhaps lend themselves to state censorship. While the merits of the Bill are debatable, what is striking is the complete lack of self-consciousness with which the media termed the attempt as an attack on democracy, without addressing its own corruption and its deleterious impact on democracy. Continue reading The Great Indian Media Hoax Of Self-Regulation: Ruchi Gupta

The Media Barons and the Radia Tapes: Monobina Gupta

Guest post by MONOBINA GUPTA

The first formal discussion on the Radia-Media nexus by a section of top media professionals this Friday revealed the media’s general reluctance to put themselves through the same wringer of criticality that they so love to put others through. Barring Manu Joseph, editor of  Open Magazine, which put out in the public domain the tapes which had been lying  for days in the ‘safe’ custody of most media organizations, majority of the speakers argued that the controversy was not about Vir Sanghvi and Barkha Dutt; that there was no proof whether Sanghvi had actually written his ‘most read’ column as he had assured Nira Radia; that we do not know if Barkha Dutt had kept her word to Radia and passed on the message of the DMK’s internal dissensions to the Congress; that pressured by the minute-by-minute  demands of 24/7 TV channels, journalists have to make random promises (which they do not intend to honour!); that they have to play along with their sources to extract news etc. The list of extenuating circumstances offered by the media, now getting a taste of its own treatment, was quite revolting.

Continue reading The Media Barons and the Radia Tapes: Monobina Gupta

Hope you’ve listened to all the Radia tapes?

If you haven’t, you’ve missed out on a lot. These five links lead you to all the phone calls, and you can even download them. This is history. The tapes are revelatory about the corporate media, but more than that, about the corporates. They have come out due to corporate wars. Internecine corporate wars seem to be our only hope for transparency and accountability in this nation. Please listen to every pause in every audio to for a clear insight into what today’s India is. And lament this Manmohan yug, ghor Manmohan yug. Also see Sevanti Ninan’s excellent analysis of the media black-out of the story.

Four transcripts that were submitted to the SC along with a total of eight recordings in May 2009 covering the cabinet formation, DMK politics and who’d get telecom portfolio
The conversations with M.Karunanidhi’s daughter M. Kanimozhi about keeping Dayanidhi Maran out from negotiations with the Congress and to get the telecom portfolio for A. Raja
In these Radia wants Sanghvi to tell the Congress not to negotiate with Dayanidhi Maran. He tells her that while he has been meeting Rahul and can’t “get into Sonia in the short term” he would “try and get through to Ahmed”
Recordings of conversations with the likes of Ratan Tata, Ranjan Bhattacharya, Barkha Dutt, Shankar Aiyar, Sunil Arora etc
The other big ‘national resource’ story involves the virtual who’s who: Ambani V/s Ambani V/s Tata, gas and power sector war involving big name journos, politicians, babus, corporates – this has the largest number of tapes, and perhaps the most important ones.

“Inside the networks of lobbyists and power brokers that dictate how this country is run”

This is explosive – you’ve heard of Niira Radia’s role in the 2G spectrum scam for months, and also that of two high profile journalists. Now, Open magazine has put out the phone transcripts, and even the audio, for all of us to listen in and know, as they put it, “how this country is run”. Many must have had the tapes with them for some time now, and god knows how many hundreds of hard disks have the CBI papers that made these allegations to begin with. But it takes courage to put this out.

For context, also read this profile of lobbyist Niira Radia, also in Open. Also see this April 2010 post from a media blog.