Is UPA hitting back at media for Anna coverage?

There has been plenty of buzz in recent days that the Congress-led UPA government has quietly begun hitting back at the media for the manner in which it has exposed the scams and scandals, and for the proactive manner in which it backed the middle-class led “Arnab Spring” under Anna Hazare.

There have been rumours, for instance, of the Union information and broadcasting ministry actually proposing a ceiling on the number of minutes a news channel can show a specific news event and so on. Now, as if to show that the messenger is indeed being wilfully targetted, these two stories have emerged in the last two days.

Exhibit A: Nora Chopra‘s item in The Sunday Guardian (above), which talks of the government making things difficult for cross-media groups like The Times of India and India Today.

Exhibit B: DNA editor Aditya Sinha‘s column, in which he links a 10-day stoppage of government advertisements to his “mass-circulating” paper to the paper’s stand in the Anna Hazare episode.

“We advised ad-sales to seek an appointment with I&B minister Ambika Soni. It was a pleasant surprise when the ad-sales executives immediately got a slot to meet the minister.

“Soni was pleasant enough. She told our guys she was unaware of any DAVP action; but in any case the government was rationalizing the flow of ads to English and language newspapers.

“Her body language, according to the ad-sales team, suggested otherwise. And then, during a general chat about the newspaper, she came to the point: she said that DNA ought to look at its coverage over the past few weeks and introspect….

Soni’s statement led us to infer that our Anna Hazare coverage was being punished by a suspension of government ads, and that Soni met our ad executives just to ensure the point was driven home.”

For the record, a point Sinha artfully sidesteps, DNA has been in the government’s crosshairs for an incendiary and imbecilic column written by the Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy after the July 13 bomb blasts in Bombay.

For the record, DNA is part-owned by Subhash Chandra‘s Zee group, some of whose journalists (present and past) played a key role in the media management of Hazare’s fast.

And, also for the record, Ambika Soni traces her Congress origins to Sanjay Gandhi, whose role in ushering in press censorship during the Emergency in 1975, has been long documented.

Image: courtesy The Sunday Guardian

Read the full piece: Ambika Soni‘s arm-twisting

Also read: How The Times of India pumped up Team Anna

Is the Indian Express now a pro-establishment newspaper?

The ex-Zee News journalist behind Anna Hazare show

Ex-Star News, ToI journos behind ‘Arnab Spring’

Is the media manufacturing middle-class dissent?

Should media corruption come under Lok Pal?

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8 Responses to “Is UPA hitting back at media for Anna coverage?”

  1. Deepak Says:

    As they say Vinash Kale Vipreet buddhi. Let them do all they can for 3 more years. After that they will be consigned to the dustbins of history.

  2. Law of Omerta Says:

    Every child in the country knows that the ruling class owns the media.

    The extravagant coverage of the Fast 2.0 was because the ruling class failed to pay its media companies their salary on time.

    So why should the UPA hit back at its own spawns in the media-space? All they need to do is pay for the “paid news” on time.

    Once the payments start flowing everything will become hunky-dory once again.

  3. Goda Says:

    Isn’t the media a pseudo-secular conspiracy erected by Sonia and Rahul to destroy Bharata-Varsha? How can the media report anything that goes against the dynasty? Something isn’t right here.

  4. sriranga Says:

    nothing surprising since this is how congres behaves. however, churumuri doesnt make a big deal of any sins upa/congress commits

  5. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Typical response from a regime whose time has come! UPA will be consigned to the dustbin of history, kicking and screaming.

  6. M K Vidyaranya Says:

    Sonia Gandhi and her coterie should think twice before resorting to such drastic steps on media as they know what happened to Indira Gandhi and her regime after she imposed emergency way back in mid 70’s..

  7. Madhur Says:

    Well the Govt. has already hit back the middle class for supporting ANNA by raising petrol price ruthlessly and move to ration subsidised LPG supply …

  8. apoorva Says:

    this govt probably can control the media in the future to cover up the scams being done by its parlimentarians but it can never stop the youth of this democratic country. there are lakhs of anna hazare in this country now and i am sure we all together can burn these corrupt politicians before thy ruin this country. are you there with me?

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