Sunday, May 3, 2009
ATTACK OF ASIANET ON ALTERNATE MEDIA
On a hot noon my friend and comrade Anirudhan Nilamel [email@example.com] phoned to me and asked whether I wrote a letter to the Asianet, the Malayalm channel owned by the media giant Rupert Murdoch. After Anirudhan many of my friends and readers contacted me over phone, through post office and email asking the same question. Some of them informed me that the presenter of the programme called "openhouse" presented my "letter" in such a way that I wrote the letter in a foolish and ill-informed way criticising the channel unfoundedly. To all of those who contacted me I replied that that I did not write a letter to the Asianet. Of course I criticized the channel in two of my earlier postings, as you can see below. I am not in the habit of writing letters to the editors of the giant electronic and print media because it is a futile exercise and a waste of time. Occasionally I write to the readers' editor of the Hindu firstname.lastname@example.org because it is a newspaper with integrity, neutrality and honesty. Once, I felt that the report on the discussion in the Kerala Legislative Assembly on the "gods' nakedness" was not neutral and I wrote that a medium which is neutral should be neutral in the matters of "gods" also. The readers' editor promptly enquired into it and gave a reply in his column. http://www.hindu.com/2007/04/16/stories/2007041602551100.htm I cannot expect such honesty and integrity from a medium owned by Mr. Rupert Murdoch. Perhaps irritated by the criticism in my blog the presenter might have treated my blog as a letter to the "openhouse" because whenever I post a blog it is communicated to all my contacts and some of the media including the Asianet through email@example.com . The presentation of blog as a letter is an attack on the alternative media by the giant medium. The giant media has the right to respond to criticisms coming up in the alternative media through internet. But if they are replying to a blog they should present as such. They have no right to cheat their viewers or readers by presenting as if the Bolger has written a letter to the editor. That depends upon the morality of medium. How can one expect a media morality from a medium such as Asianet owned formerly by some shady characters and now by Mr. Rupert Murdoch, eventhough it was orginated by upright media experts like Mr. Sasikumar? One of the presenter's contentions was, some of the friends informed me, that the Asianet News is not owned by Murdoch. In a comment to my earlier posting Meera also said: "Rupert Murdoch cannot own a news channel as per the existing law in India own only entertainment channel." This is naivety. Mr. Murdoch purchased Asianet in whole and allowed the Asianet News to maintain the façade of separate medium for the time being because the laws of the land do not permit a foreigner own a news channel in our country. The former shady owners of Asianet had no such scruples as of observing the laws of the land strictly.