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MINOR PROJECT REPORT

ON
MEDIA
CREDIBILITY

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements


for the award of the degree of
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)

TO

GURU GOBIND SINGH INDRAPRASTHA UNIVERSITY, NEW DELHI


ISHAN GULATI
01514901713

CERTIFICATE
I, Mr./Ms. ISHAN GULATI , Roll No. 01514901713 certify that the Minor Project
Dissertation (BBA-209) entitled CREDIBILITY OF THE MEDIA is done by me and
it is an authentic work carried out by me. The matter embodied in this project work has
not been submitted earlier for the award of any degree or diploma to the best of my
knowledge and belief.

Signature of the Student


Date:

Certified
CREDIBILITY

that

the

Minor

OF THE MEDIA

Project

Report/Dissertation

done by Mr/Ms.

(BBA-209)

ISHAN GULATI

entitled
, Roll No.

01514901713, is completed under my guidance.

Signature of the Guide


Date:
Name of the Guide:
Designation:

Countersigned
Director / Project Coordinator

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Project work is never the accomplishment of an individual
rather it is an amalgamation of the efforts, ideas and cooperation of a number of entities.

I would like to thank GURU GOBIND SINGH INDRAPRASTHA


UNIVERSITY, NEW DELHI for giving me an opportunity to work
on a project as valuable as this .

The completion of the project study that follows, seemed to be


a distant goal had it not been for the contribution of
Dr. PARAMVEER SINGH for allowing me to work on a very
intrinsic part on CREDIBILITY OF THE MEDIA. I thank him for the
ideas and basic concepts he delivered and shared with me, as
they helped me a lot in accomplishing this project of mine.

(ISHAN GULATI)

PREFACE
We all are aware that Credibility of the Media is at an all-time
low. Past few years have shown that information and education
provided by them cannot be relied upon or furthermore trusted. Being a
topic of prime national importance, this topic would help us unravel all
the shortcomings of the Indian as well as International print and
electronic Media.

This project report aims at providing complete information


regarding different mediums of knowledge and how they are losing
relevance in the modern era of relatively smarter generation of people.

I hereby assure that maximum efforts have been taken by me


to make this report more comprehensive and lucid to understand for the
readers.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter
Number

Particulars

Page
Number

1.

INTRODUCTION
1.1 Nature
1.2 Objectives Of Study
1.3 Data Collection Methodology

6
6
8
9

2.

ANALYSING MASS MEDIA


2.1 Various Forms Of Media
2.2 Positive Effects Of Media
2.3 Negative Influence Of Media

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11
16
17

3.

CREDIBILITY OF THE MEDIA


3.1 What Is Media Credibility?
3.2 Indian Media Crisis
3.3 Ugly Truth Behind Paid-For
Journalism
3.4 Social Media Credibility

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20
24

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA
CREDIBILITY
4.1 Fallout Of Mainstream Media
In the USA
4.2 Media Crisis In The UK
THE FINAL AGENDA
5.1 The Way Forward
5.2 Conclusion

44

4.

5.

30
37

44
47
54
54
55

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Nature
What is MEDIA?

Communication channels through which news, entertainment, education, data,


or promotional messages are disseminated is called Media. It includes every
broadcasting and narrowcasting medium such as newspapers, magazines, TV,
radio, billboards, direct mail, telephone, fax, and the internet.

Media is the plural of medium and can


take a plural or singular verb, depending
on the sense intended whereas Mass Media
is a group that constructs messages with
embedded values, and that disseminates
those messages to a specific portion of the
public in order to achieve the goal.

The Mass Media are diversified media technologies that are intended to reach a
large audience by mass communication. The technology through which this
communication takes place varies. The organizations that control these
technologies, such as television stations or publishing companies, are also known
as the mass media.

The word CREDIBILITY and relevance with the MEDIA

Credibility refers to the qualities that someone has that make us believe or trust
them. Media as we know is a source of information and awareness which helps
people viewing and interpreting it to know about the day to day happenings in
their society and the world.
By Media Credibility, we intend to emphasize on the qualities that enable us to
trust the media as a reliable and worthy source of news and information.
Credibility of the media cannot be taken for granted each and every time. There
might be instances that force us to doubt a particular piece of journalism and ask
questions, no one would have answers to.
Credibility of media and the information it releases, poses a major question to the
people when there is an open data of information out there. To what extent is the
information out there true? To what extent do media illiterate people get affected
by false information out there?
With this fast digital moving age and with the time constraints that are
present on getting the information out, people are turning towards the broadcast
media outlets and depending on them for their news information and for their daily
updates about their communities and their world around them. If this information
has the potential of being false, then imagine all the decisions taken on the basis of
this and the effect on these people. News media is considered one of the most
reliable sources information, especially when it comes to the events that affect the
life of an individual. Political events, economic events, and social events often
shape a persons life, hence it is important to have access to the most accurate and
true information.

1.2 Objectives Of Study


Curiosity is a human nature and hence people turn to different sources
of information to satisfy their hunger. As the centuries pass by, more and more
information is being available, whether through word of mouth, traditional media,
or through mainstream digital media.
Having easy access to all this knowledge empowers citizens to be aware
of their surroundings, be critical thinkers and civic developers, and be able to
make sound and clever decisions about their life and community. In terms of civic
engagement, open data helps highlight issues and problems which matter to the
people of a community and brings them into the public light for consideration.
Therefore, the following points highlight the objectives of preparing this project
report on MEDIA CREDIBILITY:
Being a delicate topic of prime national importance, general public needs to
be aware and take notice of the present ambiguous situation of the mass
media. It not only affects the current crop of news hungry people but the
future afterwards also gets jeopardized.

To focus on the shortcomings of the Indian Media which has, in recent


years, become a money making industry rather than being a source of
reliable and discrete information and knowledge.

To compare and contrast the International Media with the Indian Media
based on available surveys.

Comparative study on the credibility of all available worthy sources of


news and information such as the Television, Newspapers, Magazines,
Radio and the Internet.

1.3 Methodology For Data Collection


In todays world, there are many sources of data collection that help us in
bringing out important facts which prove to be relevant in compiling projects of
this stature.
The methods I used are briefly explained below:

INTERNET: The Internet (also known simply as "the Net" or less precisely
as "the Web") is an interactive medium of mass media, and can be briefly
described as "a network of networks". Specifically, it is the worldwide,
publicly accessible network of interconnected computer networks that
transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP).
It consists of millions of smaller domestic, academic, business, and
governmental networks, which together carry various information and
services, such as email, online chat, file transfer, and the interlinked web
pages and other documents of the World Wide Web.
Use of search engine Google is the easiest way of getting relevant
information without much hassle. This is exactly what I did for collecting
raw information for my Project Report.

BLOGS(Web Logs): Blogging, has become a pervasive form of media. A


blog is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular
entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or interactive media such
as images or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse
chronological order, with most recent posts shown on top. Many blogs
provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function
as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images
and other graphics, and links to other blogs, web pages, and related
media.

MAGAZINES: A magazine is a periodical publication containing a variety of


articles, generally financed by advertising and/or purchase by readers.
Magazines are typically published weekly, biweekly, monthly, bimonthly
or quarterly, with a date on the cover that is in advance of the date it is
actually published. They are often printed in color on coated paper, and are
bound with a soft cover.
Magazines fall into two broad categories: consumer magazines and business
magazines. In practice, magazines are a subset of periodicals, distinct from those
periodicals produced by scientific, artistic, academic or special interest publishers
which are subscription-only, more expensive, narrowly limited in circulation, and
often have little or no advertising.

NEWSPAPERS: A newspaper is a publication containing news and


information and advertising, usually printed on low-cost paper called
newsprint. It may be general or special interest, most often published daily
or weekly. The first printed newspaper was published in 1605, and the form
has thrived even in the face of competition from technologies such as radio
and television. Recent developments on the Internet are posing major threats
to its business model, however. Paid circulation is declining in most
countries, and advertising revenue, which makes up the bulk of a
newspaper's income, is shifting from print to online; some commentators,
nevertheless, point out that historically new media such as radio and
television did not entirely supplant existing.
NOTE: To conclude, all this data collected while preparing this minor
report is true and genuine to the best of my knowledge and no unfair
means have been adopted to obtain the required data.
Evidently, all these different methods have their own pros and cons and
it depends on the individual how he approaches these methodologies in
order to gain meaningful information.

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2. ANALYSING MASS MEDIA


2.1 Various Forms of Media
Before critically analyzing the credibility or its relevance in todays society,
let us just first get to know what comprises the Media.
PRINT MEDIA
Print media encompasses mass
communication through printed
material. It includes newspapers,
magazines, booklets and
brochures, house magazines,
periodicals or newsletters, direct
mailers, handbills or flyers,
billboards, press
releases, and books.

Newspapers: Newspapers enjoyed the position of the most preferred medium to reach a wider
audience until electronic communication emerged on the media scene. In the early days,
newspapers were the only medium that masses at large depended on, for daily news. A
newspaper carries all kinds of communication related to a variety of topics like politics,
socialism, current affairs, entertainment, finance, stocks, etc. Apart from this, it also includes
topics which are in lighter vein like cartoons, crosswords, Sudoku, movie reviews, book reviews,
puzzles, crosswords, etc. This captivates the imagination and interests of readers, from all age
groups. Newspapers are an important platform of mass communication as they reach every nook
and corner of the world where electronic media fails to reach. It plays a pivotal role in providing
authentic firsthand information, building opinions, updating the knowledge of the reader, and
serves as a good platform for advertisers to promote their products. However, with the
emergence of Internet, which updates information every second, and is just a click away, the
popularity of newspapers has reduced.

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Magazines: Magazines are another type of popular culture print media. They usually cater to a
specific type of audience who are looking for information based on a particular subject.
Magazines cover a plethora of topics like current affairs, business, finance, consumers, gadgets,
self-help, luxury, lifestyle, beauty, fashion, entertainment, travel, etc. Magazines like TIME and
Reader's Digest include information which is all-pervasive. The frequency of magazines can be
weekly, fortnightly, bi-monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly. These magazines are the best
forum for advertisers as they have a niche readership. The readers look for a specific type of
information, say for example, a camera ad in a Gadget magazine will definitely have a direct
brand impact on the reader who wants to buy a camera. Also, the shelf life and brand recall of
magazines is far better than newspapers which have a short life span.
Booklets and Brochures: Booklets and brochures are a part of the promotional literature of a
product, or an organization. There are two types of booklets and brochures
Pre-buying promotion: Usually in malls and stores, promotional literature is distributed free to
all (with discount offers, or other schemes which seem profitable). For example, a free booklet
about cosmetics will include information about the products, latest trends, contents, the benefits
of using them, the available range, or colors, discount coupons, etc. This, will most likely, have a
positive impact on your decision-making.
Post-buying promotion: These booklets and brochures are usually given with a product for
better customer experience and easy usage, post purchasing. You must have observed when you
buy any new item, it is usually accompanied with a small booklet giving details about the
benefits of using the product, usage directions, cleaning and storage instructions. The guidelines
are usually followed by a series of 'how to' images which facilitate easy information about the
product. These booklets may also include 'Other offerings' section. Organizations also have their
own profiles in the form of brochures which they give to their stakeholders to create a favorable
image. It highlights the information about the company, its capacity and capability, services and
solutions offered, milestone achievements, sustainability, innovation, awards, etc. In this case
people "do judge the book by its cover", and hence, these booklets and brochures are designed in
an attractive format using colors and photos.
House Magazines, Periodicals or Newsletters: Most of the organizations today have learned
that it is important to communicate with all the stakeholders in order to be successful. Hence, the
customers, shareholders, investors, solicitors, and employees are updated about the activities of
the organization from time to time. Many organizations today invent various platforms like house
magazines, periodicals, or newsletters to keep the stakeholders posted about the news related to
the company. Usually the house magazines include data about a company's achievements,
employee engagement activities, and information about the offerings. A periodical or newsletter,
is more or less, designed on similar lines but its size is restricted to a few pages only. Mostly, it

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includes similar information but in a very short format. Their frequency ranges from weekly to
yearly. It has an encouraging impact on the stakeholders because of the 'feel-good factor'.
Direct Mailers: Direct mailers are small pamphlets, which are devices for direct advertising and
marketing. Usually they arrive at our doorstep through the postal mails. Direct mails are a
relatively cheaper option of marketing as bulk advertising is cost-effective through post. Most of
them include colorful advertisements, discount and gift coupons, preapproved credit card offers,
automobile, realtor, and political promotion. Direct mailing system is best suited for B2B
business. People have a tendency to remember what they see in the advertisement, and recall it
while making a purchase, or a voting decision. Also, the attractive offers on a commercial direct
mailer prompt many to make a positive buying decision.

Handbills or Flyers: Handbills or flyers is a form of communication which is printed on a small


paper. It is easy to carry, colorful, attractive, and legible to read. They are handed out to all the
passers-by. These are useful mainly for restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, political campaigns,
delis, concerts, rallies, political campaigns, etc. People are more prompted to throw it away
without reading. Hence, many a time this fails to be an effective medium of mass communication.
Billboards: Billboards or hoardings are huge advertisements that are put up at a height in
strategic locations to fetch more attention. They usually attract the targeted audience by their
bold colors, attention-grabbing headlines, creativity, designs, special effects, etc. Initially,
billboards started by hand painting huge boards, and eventually graduated to putting up printed
sheets. Later came a trend for incorporating neon signs, videos, and graphic (which are part of
electronic communication) cut-outs which extend out from the boards, 3D rubber, or plastic
balloon objects, etc. Such billboards are called bulletins. They command the best customer
exposure. Communication in these types of billboards should be in minimum words. The images
should speak louder than the words. They are a successful medium of communication as they are
good at captivating and retaining customer attention.
Press Releases: A press release is an important device of communication because it takes the
relevant communication directly to the press. Whenever government, organizations, NGOs, retail
outlets, design houses, celebrities, etc. have a newsworthy announcement to make, they draft a
press note which is then sent to the members of the press in the form of a hard copy, fax, mail, or
CD. A press release is also distributed in a press conference. A press release answers all the "W
type" questions like what, who, where, how, and when, in its content. A quote of the
spokesperson is also added to give it credibility. This is issued on the letterhead of the
organization. It begins with a headline and dateline, and closes with the media contact for the
organization. Most of the matter in a press release gets picked up by journalists, hence it should
be worded wisely and strategically.

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Books: Last but not the least, books are a significant medium of mass communication as they
have a large reader base. The expressions and opinions of the writer are taken to the readers in
the form of a compiled book.
The printed form of communication was popular earlier. However, with the advent of electronic
media, print media has taken a backseat. Although, it is said that the electronic or new age
media have replaced the print media, there exists a majority of audience who prefer the print
media for various communication purposes. However, it is true that, print media harms the
environmental balance with its requirement for paper and chemical ink. Also, disposing off
redundant print material is a problem. Most of the people today have television sets, radios, and
Internet access which are sustainable, eco-friendly, and cost-effective forms of communication.
Moreover, print is a one way communication, while electronic media allows interaction.
ELECTRONIC

MEDIA

Electronic media is the kind


of media which requires the
user to utilize an electric
connection to access it. It is
also known as 'Broadcast
Media'. It includes
television, radio, and newage media like Internet,
computers, telephones, etc.

Television: Television appeals both the auditory and visual senses, and hence is an important
communication device as it beholds the attention of the audience. For many people, it is
impossible to imagine a life without their television sets, be it the daily news, or even the soap
operas. Television has become an advertising hub where advertisers are ready to spend huge
amounts for an ad of few seconds, especially for programs with high viewership. An apt example
would be, Super Bowl Season. It offers various programs to appeal the masses of different age
groups. It is a popular means of communication which provides both information and
entertainment. This category also includes electronic media like movies, CDs and DVDs as well
as the electronic gadgets.

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Radio: Radio has a significant reach. A considerable number of Americans tune into radio every
week while on their way to work. Advertising on the radio with catchy jingles and phrases is a
tried and tested means of communication. Radio lost its popularity with the boom of television.
But till day, radio remains one of the favorite means of electronic communication. Moreover, it
is an interactive means of communication with all the dial-in programs which give the listeners
an opportunity to feature on radio.
Mobile Phones: Mobile phones have become a boon to mankind. It has made communication
possible at anytime, and from anywhere. Nowadays, a smart device like a mobile phone is not
only used for interaction, but also for other technical utilities like operating pumps from remote
locations, etc. You can also get alerts of your monetary transactions on a mobile phone. About a
decade ago, who would have thought of having Internet on mobiles? Today, we can stay in touch
with the whole world via Internet on our mobile phones.
Computers: With the invention of computers the impossible has become possible. We virtually
get information about everything from pin to piano with the help of computers. It has added
speed and multimedia to the information which was earlier available only in the print format.
Also, anyone can voice their opinions through computers. Computers have added a new
breakthrough in the mass media by combining human intelligence with the cutting edge
technology.
Internet: This is the most important device of the new age media. The discovery of Internet can
be called the biggest invention in mass media. In earlier days, news used to reach people only
with the morning newspaper. But today, live updates reach us simultaneously as the events
unfold. For example, the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William was watched live
on the Internet by millions of people around the world. Internet has inspired interaction and
connectivity through its social networking medium. It has become one of the core means of mass
communication.

Visual media like photography is also a crucial medium since it communicates via
visual representations. Public speaking, and event organizing can also be
considered as forms of mass media. Though print media is still popular, it is not
environmentally viable. More and more people are shifting to e-newspapers,
eBooks, e-brochures, etc. Internet has completely transformed the traditional ideas
of communication. Mass communication, over a period of years, has depicted an
evolving trend, and with the advancements in technology, it will continue to do so
in future too. All you have to do is keep yourself abreast with the latest innovation
in mass communication!

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2.2 Positive Effects of Media


Media has served as a boon to mankind. It has provided us with an exposure to the world outside
our cozy homes. It has resulted in an exchange of views on a variety of subjects of a wide variety
of people from all around the world, thereby leading to a global exchange of information and
knowledge. Mass media has given each of us a platform to voice our opinions on all sorts of
social and political issues and share information with one another. It has brought out easy ways
of communication and provided us with easily accessible means to reach out to people in various
parts of the world. Thanks to technological development, we have been able to obtain a platform
that enables us to present ourselves to the rest of the world. The negative influences of media
that are a result of an overexposure to it, are most often talked about. It is true to a certain extent
that media has affected the society in a negative manner. But, undoubtedly, media has proved
being a bliss.
The media like television, radio and the Internet increase an overall awareness of the masses.
They enhance the general knowledge by providing us with information from all over the world.
News broadcast through different media helps us know about the day-to-day events in the world.
News, tele-films and documentaries revolving around social issues increase a social awareness
in children and develop their concern towards society.
Newspapers, apart from updating us with the latest news and new information, also contribute to
the enhancement of our vocabulary. Newspapers are the best beginners in developing reading
habits in children. Through the print media, they provide the general public with a platform to
give updates about their parts of the city, exchange their views over different issues that the
society faces and share their thoughts on a larger scale.
Research has revealed that media is responsible for influencing a major part of our daily life.
Media contribute to a transformation in the cultural and social values of the masses. Media can
bring about a change in the attitudes and beliefs of the common man. The persuasive nature of
the content presented over media influences the thoughts and behavior of the general public.
Media has a direct impact over the lifestyle of society.
The recent advent of blogging in the media world and practices like public polls and citizen
journalism, have led to the achievement of a social control. These concepts have strengthened
the relationship between the media and the common man. They have brought the general masses
closer to their society.
Media has brought about a major transformation in the way people think. Media has given them
an excellent platform to present themselves before the world and contribute in their own way to
the changing world scenario. Media has been responsible for making the world a smaller place
to live.

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2.3 Negative Influence of Media


More than anything, it is the following points that force us to doubt the credibility
of the media:
Blind Imitation: When you try to imitate your role models from the glamor industry, do you give
a thought to whether you are doing right or wrong? It is often seen that young girls and boys
imitate celebrities blindly. The impact of media is such that the wrong, the controversial, and the
bad is more talked about. Sometimes, little things are blown out of proportion thus changing the
way they are perceived by the audience. Media highlights controversies and scandals in the lives
of celebrities. The masses fall for this being-in-the-news and end up imitating celebrities without
much thought. Those at a vulnerable age, especially children and teenagers, are highly
influenced by anything that is put before them in a jazzy way. At that age, they are attracted to
anything that's flashy and anything that can make news.
Wrong Message: The negatives in society are highlighted with the purpose of awakening people
about them. For example, the negative effects of addiction are portrayed through advertisements.
Newspapers, television and the Internet are used to convey social messages. But unfortunately
sometimes, the message is misconstrued. The 'awakening' does not reach everyone or it reaches
the masses in the wrong way. So there is a section positively influenced by the media while there
are others who take the wrong message from it. Media influences them negatively. What is
shown with an intent to 'spread a message' ends up becoming a bombardment of the bad, the
ugly. The bad is overinflated and the good goes unnoticed. Depiction of the bad has a negative
impact on kids not mature enough to interpret what they are being shown. It's not just media to
be blamed in this case. Parents and teachers have a big role to play in selecting what the young
should see and what they should not.
Negativity: To some extent, media is responsible for generating negative feelings among those
exposed to it. An early exposure to bold or violent films, books publishing adult content and news
portraying ugly social practices has a deep impact on young minds. If children are bombarded
with fight sequences, stunt work, sex and rape scenes, suicides and murders through books or
movies, they are bound to leave a scar on these impressionable minds. And not just children, the
unpleasant can impact even an adult's mind. Adults may have the maturity to distinguish between
the good and the bad, but bombarding only the bad can affect anyone at least at the
subconscious level. Haven't you had experiences of a bad dream after watching a violent movie?
Or of imagining something scary happening to you after watching a horror film? Or a sudden
fear gripping your mind after reading about a murder in your city? The reality should be
depicted but not so gaudily that it'll have a lasting impact on people's minds.

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Unhealthy Lifestyle: Media is held responsible for the change in eating habits of teenagers and
the unhealthy lifestyle they are adopting. You ask me why? Well, because there are these junk
food advertisements everywhere. There's no one advertising the benefits of eating fresh fruit
everyday, no one's promoting drinking 8 glasses of water daily. The benefits of following a
balanced diet are not being hyped anywhere. Media is exposing the masses to fast food products,
canned food, fad diets, and energy drinks. This is leading teenagers to adopt unhealthy eating
habits. No one's propagating the importance of exercising to keep fit. But there are
advertisements of expensive exercise equipment, and weight and fat loss programs. Watching TV
or browsing the web late night is spoiling the sleeping habits of many.
Information Overload: The media in itself is so addictive that once glued to it, you tend to forget
everything else. When you are not watching TV, you are surfing the Internet, when you are not
on the web, you are reading newspapers, when you are not reading anything, you are listening to
something. Thus, all the time, you are glued to some form of media. It is bombarding you with
content, news, information, gossip, rumors - it is exposing you to everything it has, some things
necessary, some not; some things important, some not, some things you want to ignore, some
things you cannot. Media is everywhere, affecting every aspect of life.
Media Addiction: The negative effects of media on children are manifested in terms of their
changing mental setup and the declining quality of their lifestyle. Children should invest more
time reading good books, studying, playing outdoors and exercising. Due to the oh-so-alluring
media, most of their time is spent glued to the television, reading celebrity gossip, listening to
something sensational or wandering aimlessly on the Internet. With a 'world' of information and
entertainment waiting on the other side of a computer or TV screen, it's not unnatural for anyone
to spend hours exploring it; it's addictive. This affects kids and teenagers the most, as they are
exposed to things they might interpret wrongly or may not even understand at that age.
Self-hatred: Women with petite bodies and girls with a barbie figure are always shown to be
more popular or attractive while the overweight are portrayed as less popular, having less
friends and being bullied. This leads to a notion that thin is sexy and fat is not. When this thought
grips the minds of youngsters, they take to fad diets or turn to cosmetic surgeries to get that socalled perfect body. The craze for models or actors and actresses, makes teenagers want bodies
and facial features like theirs. To get rid of a big nose or to get those big pouty lips, teenagers
are ready to go under the knife.
Health Problems: Media has negative effects on the physical and psychological well-being of
society. People spending hours in front of a television or surfing the Internet experience eye
problems. Lack of physical activity leads to obesity problems. Media influences public opinion
and impacts the choices that people make. The media does play a role in portraying thin as
beautiful and fat as ugly. It has led to a general opinion that size-zero is the in thing and fat and
chubby are out. This makes the overweight feel out of place. They are ready to starve themselves
to lose weight. This can, and has led to increasing cases of anorexia. An inferiority complex and

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lowered confidence in people with not-so-perfect bodies can lead to eating disorders. In a survey
done on fifth graders by the National Institute on Media and the Family, it was found that kids
had become dissatisfied with their bodies after watching a video of a certain very popular artiste
and a certain scene from a popular TV show (names omitted on purpose).

Changed Outlook: The media has, in its own way, changed people's outlook towards life. Media
is the interface through which millions look at the world outside. Media claims to depict the
'today', but not all types of media show only the truth. With the intent of stressing their point or
for grabbing greater attention from the masses, media hypes or exaggerates things to a certain
degree. Not everyone is able to filter that element. Most believe everything to be real, especially
kids and teenagers.
Fact-Fantasy Confusion: Vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts - where did they come from?
Fairies, superheroes, angels - where did they come from? It's not only media to be blamed, as
these characters belong to folklore. But media did play a role in propagating these characters
and making them seem real. Aren't there ghost and vampire stories that media claims as real?
These characters enter our world through books and movies. There is no denying their
amusement value or entertainment quotient. But isn't it too much to blindly believe that they
exist? Fiction is amusing only till the distinction between fact and fiction is clear. The reel
entertains only till its difference from the real is understood. When the two worlds mix, life
becomes difficult.
Right-or-Wrong Dilemma: The media is so overwhelming that the masses end up believing
everything it says/shows. Media sources are so many in number and all of them so convincingly
make their point that it is hard to distinguish between right and wrong. The media is constantly
bombarding us with information. How far do we go to check its authenticity? How deep do we
dig to get to the root of something that's making news? How critically do we judge the reality of
reality shows and the truth behind true stories? We don't think, we believe. We don't judge, we
get influenced. And that's how impactful media is.
While a certain amount of exposure to media is essential for introducing ourselves to the world
outside, excessive exposure, uncontrolled access and belief without thought won't lead us
anywhere. They will only make the negative influence of media more obvious.

19

3. CREDIBILITY OF THE MEDIA


3.1 What is Media Credibility?
Audience perceptions regarding the credibility of news media have been studied
using several concepts, including media credibility, trust in media, media
skepticism, and media cynicism. In general, researchers interested in the
credibility concept are concerned with audience perceptions of news media, not
with the actual credibility of journalists. Early research on media credibility
conducted at Yale in the 1950s manipulated the credibility of communicators and
measured the impact of this manipulation on audience persuasion. Only in the
1970s did scholars begin to treat it not as a static trait of the source but as a
dynamic perception of the audience. A major line of research on media credibility
has to do with a phenomenon called hostile media perception, which takes place
when involved people with opposing opinions on an issue perceive the very same,
seemingly objective coverage as biased against their respective points of view.
Other lines of research have examined the factors underlying audience credibility
perceptions and their consequences for various social phenomena. Recently,
scholars have revisited early work on medium credibility to investigate audience
perceptions of online versus traditional media.
Credibility of media and the information it releases, poses a major question to the
people when there is an open data of information out there. To what extent is the
information out there true? To what extent do media illiterate people get affected
by false information out there? With this fast digital moving age and with the time
constraints that are present on getting the information out, people are turning
towards the broadcast media outlets and depending on them for their news
information and for their daily updates about their communities and their world
around them. If this information has the potential of being false, then imagine all
the decisions taken on the basis of this and the effect on these people. News media
is considered one of the most reliable sources information, especially when it
comes to the events that affect the life of an individual. Political events, economic
events, and social events often shape a persons life, hence it is important to have

20

access to the most accurate and true information. Since their advent, news
agencies and publishing houses around the world have been trying to provide a
factual account of the events that happen in a community and that have the power
to affect a citizens life. With the initiation of internet as a tool to reach a bigger
group of people, by the news outlets, an effort was being made to bring the same
level of accuracy to this new medium.
However, as the speed and spread of internet increased, so did the consumption of
news by the public. Social media became another tool to dispense and consume
this valuable information to and by the general population. Hence, the regulation
of the information that was being made public and that was accessible to a large
group of people became weak. As citizens became journalists, the practice of
verifying each and every fact that goes online, lost its importance. Twitter,
Facebook, Reddit and blogs became sources of information, not only for the public
but also for the mainstream media. Mainstream media and social media can often
be seen interacting with each other to dispel all this information around the world
in real time.
With all this information presented, it leads us to question the credibility of the
information and news presented to us by the media. If a disaster happens or a
crisis breakouts and information is flowing from different directions continuously
and un- relentlessly, it is hard to monitor the truthfulness of information and hence
its credibility is jeopardized. As a result, this false information is internalized by
the citizens and taken as the truth which might lead to unintended reactions.

21

EXAMPLES THAT SHOWCASE LOSS OF MEDIA CREDIBILITY

1) On April 15, 2013 two bombs exploded during Boston marathon and the first
photo was uploaded on Facebook within a couple of minutes resulting in 24 hours
of media frenzy where social and mainstream media fed off each other causing
every speculation and rumour about suspects / bombing to be treated as legitimate
news. (The Guardian, 2013)

News about suspects and their arrests spread as soon as it broke on social media
site Reddit and was soon picked up by Mainstream media like CNN and The New
York Post but turned about to be rumours and false information.
Thus in the event of a crisis, when news, rumours and false information was
flowing incessantly and rapidly, it was hard to sift through it and decide what
speculation was and what hard facts were.
This is an analysis on the role of social media during Boston bombing where it
sheds light on the inappropriateness of the news information. This article
successfully presents the case and some of the implications that happened.
However, it does not fully presents the negative implication that it had on peoples
lives and how it affected them or give a live example of the investigations that took
place.

22

2) Similarly, on April 24, 2013 a tweet from Associated Press (AP) twitter
account mentioning an attack on White House and president Obama being injured
was published. This tweet got re-tweeted 6000 times within a few minutes and
turned out to be a hoax later on. This had negative implications on the citizens and
on the US stock market. The citizens were in a panic mode and hence AP lost the
peoples credibility to it. Readers were asked not to believe any news or
information that is tweeted for at least a couple of days and until further notice. As
for the US stock market, the Dow Jones dropped down by about 143 points. Once
the information was cleared it gained its previous status back. (Hootsuite, 2013)

Each case had its own ramifications


and severely impacted the lives of the public and economy of the country. In these
two cases, false information was presented to the public from news sources that
were considered to be credible sources. Negative consequences of these news
affected the lives of citizens and endangered their safety. This poses the argument
of what people must do in order to verify the information presented and be able to
better protect themselves.
This raises the question, how much do we trust the birds to bring us the right
information?

23

3.2 Indian Media Crisis


India is the worlds largest democracy and media forms an important pillar of the
democracy. Media is acclaimed as the fourth estate after judiciary, parliament and
bureaucracy. Indian media in the past has been recognized as being sensitive,
patriotic, and an influential tool in the socio-political sphere since the days of
freedom movement.
The media in India has grown into an economic giant, with a business turnover
which exceeds one percent of the countrys gross domestic product (GDP) and
matches the economic size of many individual industries in India. It is considered
the worlds most dynamic media industry and one of the fastest growing anywhere.
The medias worth is equivalent to half the value of Indias famously successful
computer software exports.
For the past two decades, the Indian media business has clocked double-digit
growth annually, which clearly outpaces Indias GDP growth rate, which has itself
risen from about 5 percent to almost 9 percent a year. A recent report by the
consultancy firm KPMG and the Federation of the Indian Chambers of Commerce
and Industry forecasts a growth rate for the media of 13-14 percent a year for the
next five years. Amazingly, Indias print media bucked a worldwide trend and has
been growing at 10 percent-plus a year. Last year, it grew by an estimated 26
percent.
This is a very different scenario from the state of the media in much of the world.
In most developed countries, the media has reached saturation point. The Western
print media is especially badly off, with falling revenues. It is shrinking as major
newspapers lose money and circulation and cut staff and coverage.
The media in India has played a disproportionate role in shaping public
perceptions of politics, electoral outcomes and the way power is exercised. As
recent disclosures in the Radio tapes show, media personalities increasingly rub
shoulders with top-level politicians, industrialists and corporate lobbyists and
collude in making key government appointments and influencing policy decisions.
In sharp contrast to the immense financial power and political clout of the Indian
media stands its indifferentand generally decliningquality, reliability and
authenticity, loss of diversity and pluralism, shallowness in reporting and comment
on serious issues, and systematic violation of elementary norms of responsible
journalism.

24

In sharp contrast to the immense financial power and political clout of the Indian
media stands its indifferentand generally decliningquality, reliability and
authenticity, loss of diversity and pluralism, shallowness in reporting and comment
on serious issues, and systematic violation of elementary norms of responsible
journalism.

In recent years, the media has lowered the quality of Indias public discourse.
Media expansion has led to a shrinking of the public sphere, and spread of elitist
and socially retrograde values. This is producing a growing, and potentially grave,
crisis of credibility.
The low and falling quality of Indian journalism is evident in a number of ways.
First, this country of 1.2 billion cannot claim to have a single magazine of ideas or
literary journal of international standards. Nor does it publish a significant
number of influential newspapers which are independent of corporate cartels.
There is very little diversity in the range of social and political views expressed in
the mainstream media.
Second, the media no longer adequately performs the primary functions it is meant
to, which give it public legitimacy: namely, informing the public, telling the truth,
analysing complex social, economic and political processes, providing a platform
for public debate, and acting as the peoples watchdog or conscience.

25

TUNNELVISION
Despite rapid globalization and the opening up of Indian society and culture to international
influences, the Indian media remains extremely insular. There is remarkably paltry coverage of
international issues, events, institutions and processes. There is an unhealthy obsession with the
United States, and very little space for major emerging countries like China, Brazil and South
Africa.
Thus, only about half-a-dozen newspapers, all of them in English, have correspondents in any of
the major capitals of the world. Only one, The Hindu, has full-time correspondents in
Washington, Beijing, Moscow, London and Paris. The rest depend on news agencies, or at best,
part-time stringers. Even when a major event occursthe Iraq war, the Egyptian revolution
or the Fukushima disasterIndian newspapers and TV channels (despite their huge budgets) do
not bother to send reporters to cover it. At best, there may be desultory, cursory coverage for a
couple of days.
The coverage of the South Asian regionin which India is located in a larger-than-life way, with
which it shares so much, and on which its own social climate and security dependsis abysmally
shoddy. Within this coverage, there is a pathological preoccupation with Pakistan. This has less
to do with understanding the complex social and political processes under way there than with
gloating over Pakistans problems and its difficult relationships with the US, Afghanistan and
Iran. At any rate, there are only two full-time Indian reporters in Pakistan. Once, there were
five.
No Indian newspaper has full-time correspondents in all the major regional countriesPakistan,
Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The Hindu scores better than other papers here
too, but it still has no correspondent in Afghanistan, which is a cauldron of conflict and war, and
also crucible where world history is being made.
This is galling because there is at least one highly experienced and respected freelance
journalist based in Kabul, who is an Indian. (At one time, there were three, writing mainly for
Western papers). By contrast, The New York Times has three reporters covering Afghanistan.
Other major Western dailies have one or more reporters based there.
Many Indian newspapers are immeasurably richer than The New York Times, which has run into
losses. But they are just not interested in the war and political developments in Afghanistan and
the complex relationships emerging between the US, the Karzai government, various Taliban
groups, the Pakistani state, Iran and India. These relationships will determine the future of how
the West views radical and moderate Islam and conducts the war on terror.

26

LOSS OF DIVERSITY AND QUALITY


The Indian media on the face of it has tremendous diversity, with the worlds second-largest
press (print) market, some 1,500 TV channels (the fourth largest number in the world), of which
250 or so are news channels (probably the highest number anywhere), 80-85 million Internet
users, and a growing number of radio stations.
The press is printed in 123 languages and dialects. The highest number of newspapers and

magazines are issued in Hindi24,927; the second place is taken by the English-language
press9,064. The state with most print media is Uttar Pradeshwith 9,885 newspapers. The
largest-circulated Indian daily is Dainik Jagran, with 55.7 million readers, probably the largest
in the world. Second in rank is Dainik Bhaskar with 44.9 million readers. These papers are
among the lowest-quality publications anywhere, with minimal news value.
However, in recent years, the print media has witnessed loss of diversity, a process of
concentration, mergers and acquisitions, and emergence of huge conglomerates, especially in
Indian languages, with 20, 30, even 43 editions. This is squeezing out small independent papers
both through competition for advertising revenue and through predatory pricing.
The average issue price of Indian newspapers is remarkably low: a national average of Rs 2.30
on weekdays and Rs 3 on Sundays. The actual recovery from sales, after deducting commissions
for distribution, is well under Rs 2 per copy.
However, it costs Rs 6 to 10 to produce a newspaper of between 14 and 24 broadsheet pages
(excluding supplements, etc.). Since circulation revenues can only meet a fraction of this cost,
newspapers become dependent on advertising to make up the bulk of the expenses necessary for
survival. This has dangerously unhealthy consequences for media independence and diversity.
Growing dependence on advertising means less and less autonomy from the corporate interests
which buy advertising space or time.
This is only one malady that afflicts the Indian media. Other serious disorders lie in the
conscious dumbing down of news coverage; trivialization of important social processes and
events; warped priorities in reporting national and world affairs; downgrading and contraction
of space for serious analysis, interpretation and comment; an unhealthy obsession with
celebrities; growing sensationalism (ubiquitous in television, but now rapidly spreading in
print); and reliance on hearsay and unverified reports.
Even worse is the mainstream medias self-assigned role as the outriders of free market or
neoliberal policiesas if the immediate post-Soviet era had not ended, and under-regulated
capitalism had not run into a grave financial crisis and the Great Recession since 2008.
Editors are now appointed less for their journalistic talent, erudition or news sense than for their
contacts in high places and ability to fix deals.

27

BIAS, CENSORSHIP AND SELECTIVE EXCLUSION


This is, admittedly, a pretty damning list of flaws. But no less disturbing are: editorializing in the
news pages; heavy slanting of headlines and photo captions; censorship of views critical of
ruling orthodoxies and of stories written from the standpoint of the underprivileged and the
vulnerable; and blacking out of the coverage of unconventional, radical or non-mainstream
movements and organizations (including campaigns for peace, human rights, global justice, or
sexual equality).
Even more unconscionable is the blatantly partisan support in large sections of the media for
ultra-Right-wing and religious-exclusivist political grouping like the Bharatiya Janata Party,
marginalization of readers opinion columns, and a systematic refusal to admit, and correct,
errors of fact.
The media, as it exists and is evolving today, is simply not designed or meant to report on the
existing reality of Indian society or inform the public on the economic and political processes at
work in it, including shifts in social values and in the balance of power between different groups,
and new forms of political competitionleave alone promote a comprehension of the complex
social dynamics that are shaping decision-making structures and Indias changing relations with
the rest of the world.
Perhaps the most telling comment on the Indian media lies not in the stories it has done, but in
the stories it has missed or killed. These include the death of 8,000 schoolchildren in
Maharashtra, the millions of girls who go missing thanks to the spreading practice of female
foeticide, and the suicides of two lakh farmers over the past 12 years.
To be fair, it is not that the media never carried these stories. It didreluctantly, belatedly, halfheartedly, sloppily, following many entreaties by the concerned investigators, or after the issue
had already figured in the national or state legislature. It did not originate them, as it should
have. These important facts, which speak of dysfunctions in the deepest interstices of Indian
society, were unearthed, noted, discovered, compiled, collated and disseminated by others.
DISCONNECT
The mainstream journalistic paradigm in the Indian print media (with a few honourable
exceptions) is shockingly insensitive to the real concerns of flesh-and-blood people, especially
the vast majority of Indians who are poor and underprivileged. Its principaland matter-offactly statedaim is to promote the feel-good factor and pump sunshine into the life of the
consumerist elite.
Headlines in most papers show strong biases: e.g. telecom is liberated (i.e. recklessly
privatized, with harmful consequences, as in the 2G scam), and imports of 1,400 items are
freed (to promote unregulated imports which could ruin millions of farmers).
What takes the cake is the memorable headline: India, Beauty Superpower of the world, wins
the Miss Universe crown. This is when Indian women have worse malnutrition levels than
women in sub-Saharan Africaafter two decades of agrarian distress, economic collapse, ethnic
conflict, civil war and famine in that continent. What matters is not the truth, but the feel-good

28

factor, the daily dose of steroids the Indian elite so desperately needsand getsthrough the
media.
These trends highlight the Indian medias increasingly conservative and retrograde character in
a period which demands a radical review of conservative approaches, and exploration and
examination of alternative options to policies that are failing, ideologies that are proving
bankrupt, and mindsets that are patently sterile.
The Indian media now faces a serious crisis of credibility. If it does not reform itself, it will find
its greatest asset getting rapidly devalued and eventually vanishing. Robbed of authenticity,
reliability and credibility, the media will cease to matter to large numbers of people except as a
source of cheap entertainment and titillation. Journalism will then cease to be all that makes it
worthy and socially relevant: an honest, investigative, analytical, public-oriented and ethical
pursuit.
That would be a grave tragedy and a terrible disservice both to democracy and to the causes of
enlightening and empowering the public.

29

3.3 Ugly Truth Behind Paid-For Journalism


Unfortunately, a cancer in the form of paid news has been growing rapidly in the
recent years. The phenomenon of paid news in Indian media is becoming a threat
to Indian democracy. The menace of paid news is destroying journalism
standards and respect for media companies and the profession.
Today, it goes beyond the corruption of journalists and media owners, the practice
of accepting money from corporate entities, governments, organizations or
individuals to run favorable news about politicians, companies and celebrities has
become very common in the Indian media, due to which the media is losing its
ethical value. It is not working in the interest of for the people, of the people and
by the people.
PAID NEWS SYNDROME AN UNETHICAL AND UNDESIRABLE
TREND IN INDIAN MEDIA
The media has been receiving private treaties involving share transfers between media
companies and non-media companies in lieu of advertisement space and favorable coverage
disguised as news. This is commonly referred as the paid news syndrome.

Today, India has over 82,237 registered


newspapers and over 700 television channels, no
other nation has as many newspapers and news
channels as our nation has and the number has
increased drastically during the last ten years.
The numbers are increasing day by day, but they
are lacking the quality. 90% of media coverage
is related to entertainment and politics and only
10% to educate and enlighten people.

30

CORRUPTION IN INDIAN MEDIA

Standard of media in our country is falling, paid news terribly deviates the media from its aims
and objectives. It is compromising on the elements of honest journalism. The politicians and the
people, who give paid news, are playing with the faithfulness of the people on media; it
sabotages democracy and creates integrity risk to the nation. The impact of this malpractice
undermines democracy.
Now, paid news syndrome has crept into the entire mainstream of Indian media. Media, that
need to be an eye opener and mirror to the society are being deviated which is an unfair practice
in a democratic country like India.

Corruption in the mass media in India and elsewhere is as old as the media itself. If there is
corruption in society, it would be unrealistic to expect the media to be free of corruption. India is
the world's largest democracy. A vibrant and diverse mass media is an important pillar of
democracy in the country. The independence of the media facilitates adherence to democratic
norms. Article 19 of the Constitution of India confers the right to freedom of speech and
expression to all citizens of the country and to the media as well.
In recent years, corruption in the Indian media has gone way beyond the corruption of individual
journalists and specific media organizations -- from "planting" information and views in lieu of
favours received in cash or kind, to more institutionalized and organized forms of corruption
wherein newspapers and television channels receive funds for publishing or broadcasting
information in favour of particular individuals, corporate entities, representatives of political
parties and candidates contesting elections, that is sought to be disguised as "news".
News is meant to be objective, fair and neutral - this is what sets apart such information and
opinion from advertisements that are paid for by corporate entities, governments, organizations
or individuals.

31

What happens when the distinction between news and advertisements start blurring, when
advertisements double up as news that have been paid for, or when "news" is published in favour
of a particular politician by selling editorial spaces? In such situations, the reader or the viewer
can hardly distinguish between news reports and advertisements/advertorials.

This report tracks the blurring boundaries between news and advertisements/advertorials and
highlights the efforts made by individuals and representatives of organizations who have
painstakingly chronicled the selling of editorial space for money during elections.
Over the last few years and since 2009 in particular, the phenomenon of "paid news" has
acquired a new and even more pernicious dimension by entering the sphere of political "news"
or "reporting" on candidates contesting elections. Numerous favorable or complimentary "news"
reports and feature articles on representatives of political parties, including candidates who
have been contesting elections, have appeared in newspapers across the country in the run-up to
the Lok Sabha as well as state legislative assembly elections and similar kinds of information
have been aired on television channels without disclosing the fact that monetary transactions
have taken place between the concerned candidate or political party to which he or she belongs
and the owners or representatives of particular media organizations.
The deception or fraud that such "paid news" entails takes place at three distinct levels. The
reader or the viewer is deceived into believing that what is essentially an advertisement is in
fact, independently produced news content. Then, candidates contesting elections to not disclose
the true expenditure incurred on campaigning thereby violating the Conduct of Election Rules,
1961, which have been framed by, and are meant to be enforced by, the Election Commission of
India under the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The concerned newspapers and
television channels typically receive funds for "paid news" in cash and do not disclose such
earnings in their company balance sheets or official statements of accounts. Thus, by not
accounting for the money received from candidates, the concerned media company or its
representatives are violating the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 as well as the Income
Tax Act, 1961, among other laws.

Sections of the media in India have willy-nilly become participants and players in such practices
that contribute to the growing use of money power in politics which undermines democratic
processes and norms - while hypocritically pretending to occupy a high moral ground. This has
not merely undermined democracy in India but also tarnished the country's reputation as foreign
newspapers have started writing about, and commenting adversely on, such malpractices.
In addition, owners of media organizations have financial relationships, including shareholdings, with advertisers, resulting in only favorable information about such advertisers getting
disseminated and unfavorable information against them getting blacked out. Such trends have
been discernible in sections of the Indian media for some years now.

32

The regulator of the country's capital markets, the Securities and Exchange Board of India
(SEBI), has written to the Press Council of India on the issue of "private treaties" between media
companies and other corporate entities and suggested disclosure of financial holdings and
mandatory enforcement of guidelines to ensure that the interests of investors are adequately
safeguarded - these suggestions have been endorsed by the Press Council of India which, in
1996, drew up a set of guidelines that are particularly applicable to financial journalists.

Certain publications (such as Mint) have drawn up their own codes of ethics that are worthy of
emulation as a measure of self-regulation. But self-regulation is not adequate for checking
rampant malpractices and corruption that have assumed epidemic proportions in many sections
of
the
print
medium
as
well
as
the
television
medium.
In the area of political "paid news", given the illegal and clandestine nature of such
malpractices, it is not easy to find clinching evidence that pins responsibility for such corrupt
practices on particular persons and organizations. There is, however, a huge volume of
circumstantial evidence that points towards the growing use of the media for publishing "paid
news" which is a form of electoral malpractice. Identical articles with photographs and
headlines have appeared in competing publications carrying bylines of different authors around
the same time. On the same page of specific newspapers, articles have been printed praising
competing candidates claiming that both are likely to win the same elections.

33

MOST SHOCKING ALLEGATIONS

Indian Medias credibility is at an all time low. The arrest of two senior journalists
of ZEE TV on charges of blackmailing & extortion has put a huge question mark
over integrity and credibility of the Indian Mainstream Media.
Naveen Jindal, Congress MP & owner of Jindal Steels has accused the two
newsmen of demanding huge sum of Rs.100 million to block publication of news
adversely affecting his business interests.
A little reminder here will be in order. ZEE TV is the same channel which
fabricated & manufactured a false story on 2001 Parliament attack case which
attempted to implicate innocent Kashmiris in the attack. A miracle saved one of the
accused, SAR Geelani from Gallows and another one, Afzal Guroo, is awaiting a
second miracle to happen.
Indian Media was never impartial and unbiased. However, Medias biasness
towards corporate houses and media persons acting as the lobbyist for corporate
sectors in the corridor of power and brokers of secret deals among different
corporate groups started in the early eighties. Ramnath Goenka of the Indian
Express can be safely called as the father of this trend. The way he handled Nusli
Wadia-Dhirubhai Ambani tussle and started anti-Ambani campaign was the first
eye-catching example of medias role in corporate politics and lobby.
Not long ago, disclosure of tapes of conversation between corporate lobbyist Nira
Radia and two most admired journalist of India (Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi)
lobbying for cabinet birth and even specific portfolio for a tainted politician
A.Raja, are the 21st Century version of the trend started by Ramnath Goenka in
1980s. In the tapes, both of the journalists promised Nira Radia to lobby for
A.Raja for the telecommunication portfolio in the UPA-2 Government. From their
conversation, their proximity to the center OF Indias power corridor is crystal
clear. What these tapes bring to light is the kind of corruption that is plaguing the
Indian media and the most shocking aspect of the whole episode is to the length the
entire media fraternity went, barring a few gutsy magazines, papers and TV
channels, to censor the whole issue.

34

In her defense Dutt claimed that she was talking to Radia as part of her
journalistic routine and Radia is one of her sources. That may be true. But from
the conversations it is evident that two of he biggest corporate media houses in
India were lobbying for a tainted person to be reinstated in the same ministry.
Incidentally, Barkha Dutt is a Padamshri Award Winner. In another conversation,
another reputed journalist Vir Sanghvi is heard saying, What kind of story do you
want? Because this will go as counterpoint, so it will be like most-most read, but it
cant seem too slanted, yet it is an ideal opportunity to get all the points across.
In yet another conversation of his, Sanghvi is heard discussing ministry formation
with Radia. The tapes also feature several other top journalists being hand fed by
Radia on the kind of stories she wants to appear in newspapers.

BARKHA DUTT

Barkha Dutt Nira Radia tapes controversy involving A.Raja


rocked the whole nation and put clear question marks on the
Credibility of the mainstream media.

35

In the recently concluded 9th Media Nation Summit in Philippines, President of the
organizing foundation, Bart Guingona said : Media is a watchdog of the
government, but who watches the watchdog? It is crucial that this problem should
be discussed freely since the role of the media shapes not only the countrys policy
and development, but also the peoples everyday lives.

Hitherto any effort to seek accountability and responsibility from the media has
faced the most vehement protests from them. All this under the guise of protecting
freedom of speech and freedom of press. The Press Council of India and the
Editors Guild are nothing more than coffee shop organizations with no binding
guidelines whatsoever. In effect, the media has an extraordinary free run to misreport, spread lies, and indulge in without any liability.

So if there is one domain that seriously and urgently needs a watchdog like the
CAG or the CVC- it is the Indian Media.

36

3.4 Social Media Credibility


DEFINING SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is the social interaction among people in which they create, share or
exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual
communities and networks. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social
media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and
technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange
of user-generated content." Furthermore, social media depend on mobile and webbased technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which
individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated
content. They introduce substantial and pervasive changes to communication
between organizations, communities, and individuals. These changes are the focus
of the emerging field of techno-self studies.
Social media is different from
traditional or industrial media in many
ways, including quality, reach,
frequency, usability, immediacy, and
permanence. There are many effects
that stem from internet usage.
According to Nielsen, internet users
continue to spend more time with
social media sites than any other type
of site.
At the same time, the total time spent on social media in the U.S. across PC and
mobile devices increased by 99 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012
compared to 66 billion minutes in July 2011. For content contributors, the benefits
of participating in social media have gone beyond simply social sharing to
building reputation and bringing in career opportunities and monetary income, as
discussed in Tang, Gu, and Whinston (2012)

37

Today, there are many other social media sites that are extremely popular. In
2014, the largest social network is reported as being Facebook. Other popular
networks are Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. These sites also allow
people to stay in contact, whether it is through pictures or writing.
POSITIVE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
In the book Networked The new social operating system by Lee Rainie and
Barry Wellman, the two authors reflect on mainly positive effects of social media
and other internet based social networks. According to the authors, social media is
used to document memories, learn about and explore things, advertise oneself and
form friendships. For instance, they claim that the communication through internet
based services can be done more privately than in real life. Furthermore, Rainie
and Wellman discuss that everybody has the possibility to become a content
creator. Content creation provides networked individuals opportunities to reach
wider audiences. Moreover, it can positively affect their social standing and gain
political support. This can lead to influence on issues that are important for
someone. As a concrete example of the positive effects of social media, the authors
use the Egyptian revolution in 2011, where people used Facebook to gather
meetings, protest actions, etc.
Rainie and Wellman (Ibid) also discuss that content creation is a voluntary and
participatory act. What is important is that networked individuals create, edit and
manage content in collaboration with other networked individuals. This way they
contribute in expanding knowledge. Wikis are examples of collaborative content
creation.

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LOST CREDIBILITY OF SOCIAL MEDIA


Criticisms of social media range from criticisms of the ease of use of specific
platforms and their capabilities, disparity of information available, issues with
trustworthiness and reliability of information presented, the impact of social media
use on an individual's concentration, ownership of media content, and the meaning
of interactions created by social media. Although some social media platforms
offer users the opportunity to cross-post simultaneously, some social network
platforms have been criticized for poor interoperability between platforms, which
leads to the creation of information silos- isolated pockets of data contained in one
social media platform.

Due to the increase in social media websites,


there seems to be a positive correlation between
the usage of such media with cyber-bullying,
online sexual predators, and the decrease in
face-to-face interactions. Social media may
expose children to images of alcohol, tobacco,
and sexual behaviors.
Twitter is increasingly a target of heavy activity
of marketers. Their actions, focused on gaining
massive numbers of followers, include use of
advanced scripts and manipulation techniques
that distort the prime idea of social media by
abusing human trustfulness.

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Trustworthiness
Because large-scale collaborative co-creation is one of the main ways of forming information in
the social network, the user generated content is sometimes viewed with skepticism; readers do
not trust it is as a reliable source of information. Aniket Kittur, Bongowon Suh and Ed H. Chi
took wikis under examination and indicated that, "One possibility is that distrust of wiki content
is not due to the inherently mutable nature of the system but instead to the lack of available
information for judging trustworthiness." To be more specific, the authors mention that reasons
for distrusting collaborative systems with user-generated content, such as Wikipedia, include a
lack of information regarding accuracy of contents, motives and expertise of editors, stability of
content, coverage of topics and the absence of sources.
Social media is also an important source of news. According to 'Reuters Institute Digital News
Report 2013', social media is one of the most important ways for people find news online (the
others being traditional brands, search engines and news aggregators). The report suggested
that in the United Kingdom, trust in news which comes from social media sources is low,
compared to news from other sources (e.g. online news from traditional broadcaster or online
news from national newspapers). People who aged at 24-35 trust social media most, whereas
trust declined with the increase of age.
Rainie and Wellman have argued that media making now has become a participation
work, which changes communication systems. The center of power is shifted from only the media
(as the gatekeeper) to the peripheral area, which may include government, organizations, and
out to the edge, the individual. These changes in communication systems raise empirical
questions about trust to media effect. Prior empirical studies have shown that trust in
information sources plays a major role in peoples decision making. People's attitudes more
easily change when they hear messages from trustworthy sources. In the Reuter's report, 27% of
respondents agree that they worry about the accuracy of a story on a blog. However, 40% of
them believe the stories on blogs are more balanced than traditional papers because they are
provided with a range of opinions. Recent research has shown that in the new social media
communication environment, the civil or uncivil nature of comments will bias people's
information processing even if the message is from a trustworthy source, which bring the
practical and ethical question about the responsibility of communicator in the social media
environment.

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Reliability
Evgeny Morozov, 20092010 Yahoo fellow at Georgetown University contends that the
information uploaded to Twitter may have little relevance to the rest of the people who do not
use Twitter. In the article "Iran: Downside to the Twitter Revolution in the
magazine Dissent , he says:
"Twitter only adds to the noise: its simply impossible to pack much context into its 140
characters. All other biases are present as well: in a country like Iran its mostly pro-Western,
technology-friendly and iPod-carrying young people who are the natural and most frequent
users of Twitter. They are a tiny and, most important, extremely untypical segment of the Iranian
population (the number of Twitter users in Iran a country of more than seventy million
people.)
Even in the United States, the birth-country of Twitter, in 2012 the social network had only 107.7
million accounts. Because there are likely to be many multi-account users, and the United States
in 2012 had a population of 314.7 million, the adoption of Twitter is somewhat limited.
Professor Matthew Auer of Bates College casts doubt on the conventional wisdom that social
media are open and participatory. He also speculates on the emergence of "anti-social media"
used as "instruments of pure control."

Ownership of social media content


Social media content is generated through social media interactions done by the users through
the site. There has always been a huge debate on the ownership of the content on social media
platforms because it is generated by the users and hosted by the company. Added to this is the
danger to security of information, which can be leaked to third parties with economic interests in
the platform, or parasites who comb the data for their own databases. The author of Social
Media Is Bullshit, Brandon Mendelson, claims that the "true" owners of content created on
social media sites only benefits the large corporations who own those sites and rarely the users
that created them.

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Privacy
Privacy rights advocates warn users about uses for the information that can be gathered through
social media. Some information is captured without the user's knowledge or consent, such as
through electronic tracking and third party application on social networks. Others include law
enforcement and governmental use of this information including the gathering of so-called social
media intelligence through data mining techniques.
Additional privacy concerns relate to the impact of social media monitoring by employers whose
policies include prohibitions against workers' postings on social networking sites.[68] A survey
done in 2010 from different universities revealed that there are lines drawn between personal
and professional lives. Many of the users surveyed admitted to misrepresenting themselves
online. Employees can be concerned because their social media sites reflect their personal lives
and not their professional lives, but yet employers are censoring them on the internet.
Other privacy concerns with employers and social media are when employers use social media
as a tool to screen a prospective employee. This issue raises many ethical questions that some
consider an employers right and others considerdiscrimination. Except in the states of
California, Maryland, and Illinois, there are no laws that prohibit employers from using social
media profiles as a basis of whether or not someone should be hired.[70] Title VII also prohibits
discrimination during any aspect of employment including hiring or firing, recruitment, or
testing.[71]

Social media has been integrating itself into the workplace and this has led to conflicts within
employees and employers. Particularly, Facebook has been seen as a popular platform for
employers to investigate in order to learn more about potential employees. This conflict first
started in Maryland when an employer requested and received an employees Facebook
username and password. State lawmakers first introduced legislation in 2012 to prohibit
employers from requesting passwords to personal social accounts in order to get a job or to keep
a job. This led to Canada, Germany, the U.S. Congress and 11 U.S. states to pass or propose
legislation that prevents employers access to private social accounts of employees.[72]
Many Western European countries have already implemented laws that restrict the regulation of
social media in the workplace. States including Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois,
Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin have
passed legislation that protects potential employees and current employees from employers that
demand them to give forth their username or password for a social media account.[73] Laws that
forbid employers from disciplining an employee based on activity off the job on social media
sites have also been put into act in states including California, Colorado, Connecticut, North
Dakota and New York. Several states have similar laws that protect students in colleges and

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universities from having to grant access to their social media accounts. Eight states have passed
the law that prohibits post secondary institutions from demanding social media login information
from any prospective or current students and privacy legislation has been introduced or is
pending in at least 36 states as of July 2013.
As of May 2014, legislation has been introduced and is in the process of pending in at least 28
states and has been enacted in Maine and Wisconsin. In addition, the National Labor Relations
Board has been devoting a lot of their attention to attacking employer policies regarding social
media that can discipline employees who seek to speak and post freely on social media sites.

Disparity
Eric Ehrmann contends that social media in the form of public diplomacy create a patina of
inclusiveness that covers traditional economic interests that are structured to ensure that wealth
is pumped up to the top of the economic pyramid, perpetuating the digital divide and post
Marxian class conflict. He also voices concern over the trend that finds social utilities operating
in a quasi-libertarian global environment of oligopoly that requires users in economically
challenged nations to spend high percentages of annual income to pay for devices and services
to participate in the social media lifestyle.
The phrase "Digital divide" was coined in 1996 by Lloyd Morrlsett, a founder of the Children's
Television Workshop and President of the Markle Foundation, to describe the chasm that
purportedly separates information technology (IT) haves from have-nots in the US. As Virginia
Eubanks explains the digital divide in terms of social structure that have-not side users don't
have much consumer power but they have the power. Money and labors go from the have-not to
have.
Neil Postman also contends that social media will increase an information disparity between
winners who are able to use the social media actively and losers who are not familiar with
modern technologies.

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4. INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CREDIBLITY


Not just in India, mainstream media has been witnessing gradual loss in credibility
all across the globe. It has become more of a world-wide phenomenon in recent
years. Lets just figure out this in the sections below.

4.1 Fallout of Mainstream Media In The USA


Quite contrary to India, the fallout in Media viewership has been more gradual
and rapid in the recent years in the United States of America.
Perhaps the mounting number of scandals in journalism has soured an audience
accustomed to believing the media is honorable, trustworthy and upright. Perhaps
its the growing politicization of (some) media that polarizes rather than informs
public opinion.

Why are these American media


losing credibility faster than
other sources? Probably
because they are so blatantly,
overtly ideological and people
tire of the relentless
mudslinging, attacks, innuendo
and lies. These media cry wolf
far too often.

A perception of bias directly equates with a loss of trust and credibility. Americans
dont, in general, trust their media because most of it is seen as biased, and some
media in particular is seen as blatantly so.

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The consequence can be seen in declining audiences and revenues. Who wants to
advertise in media they dont trust?

RISING DISTRUST IN MEDIA


Americans' distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they
have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and
fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more
negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.

The record distrust in the media, based on a survey conducted Sept. 6-9, 2012, also
means that negativity toward the media is at an all-time high for a presidential
election year. This reflects the continuation of a pattern in which negativity
increases every election year compared with the year prior. The current gap
between negative and positive views -- 20 percentage points -- is by far the highest
Gallup has recorded since it began regularly asking the question in the 1990s.
This year's decline in media trust is driven by independents and Republicans. The
31% and 26%, respectively, who express a great deal or fair amount of trust are
record lows and are down significantly from last year. Republicans' level of trust
this year is similar to what they expressed in the fall of 2008, implying that they
are especially critical of election coverage.

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Independents are sharply more negative compared with 2008, suggesting the
group that is most closely divided between President Barack Obama and
Republican Mitt Romney is quite dissatisfied with its ability to get fair and
accurate news coverage of this election.
More broadly, Republicans continue to express the least trust in the media, while
Democrats express the most. Independents' trust fell below the majority level in
2004 and has continued to steadily decline.

Americans tend to pay more attention to political news in presidential election


years, and that is the case in 2012. However, Americans are less likely this year to
be paying close attention to news about national politics than they were in 2008.
The 39% who say they are paying close attention is up from last year -- when
Americans were paying a high level of attention compared with other non-election
years -- but down from 43% in September 2008.

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4.2 Media Crisis In The UK


Normally, journalists cant get enough of public-opinion polls. During election
campaigns, small shifts in opinion can dominate the news cycle for days.
Journalists reach for polls to support an anecdotal lede or to win over a skeptical
editor on a feature idea. But opinion surveys on the news medias performance and
credibilitythat touch on the practice of journalism itselfare a different matter
entirely.
Most journalists suspect that the public doesnt have much of a clue about what
they do, so they dont put a lot of stock in polls on the press. When surveys reveal
that British have a poor view of the news mediaa routine occurrence these
daysreporters tend to chalk it up as a shoot-the-messenger reaction. And when
public attitudes were shown in polling to take an unusually positive turn
immediately after September 11th, journalists didnt know what to think. Not to
worry, opinions of the news media quickly returned to their normal low levels a
few months later.
Its true that most of public-opinion polls about journalism bear little relationship
to how the average reporter or editor does their job. But surveys on media
credibility should matter to journalistsa lot. Lose the trust of your viewers and
readers, and you might soon be losing them, if you havent already. Even if news
outlets maintain their audience, out of habit or inertia, their impact and
effectiveness will be lessened.

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RISING MISTRUST OF THE PRESS


Surveys of public attitudes towards press credibility present a depressing picture.
The General Social Survey, a massive national poll conducted by the National
Opinion Research Center at the University of London, has been measuring public
confidence in institutions for more than three decades. From the 1970s through
the mid- 1980s, confidence in the press was as high as it was for other major
institutions the military, Congress, religion and education, to name a few. But in
the late 1980s, ratings for the press began to slip, and by the 1990s the slip had
become a slide. In 1990, 74 percent of British said they had a great deal or some
confidence in the press. A decade later, that number had fallen to 58 percent.
During the same period, confidence in other institutions remained stable.

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Credibility ratings for individual news sources also have declined since the mid1980s, according to surveys by the Pew Research Center. In 1985, just 16 percent
of the public gave low credibility ratings to their daily newspaper; by last year that
number had nearly tripled to 45 percent. Public trust in the three broadcast
networks, leading news magazines (Time and Newsweek), and CNN also fell. The
percentage saying they could trust little of what they saw on ABC News rose from
13 percent to 36 percent, CNN from 15 percent to 28 percent, and so on.

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So whats behind rising mistrust of the news media, in general, and leading news
outlets in particular? It would be tempting to lay this problem at the feet of Jayson
Blair, Jack Kelley, and some of the other high-profile news plagiarists and
fabricators of recent years. But Blair and Kelley, and other media miscreants,
barely registered with the public. Nor did Americans find the reports about Blairs
creative writing particularly shocking: They merely confirmed their suspicions.
When the Pew Research Center asked in 2003 how often news organizations make
up news stories, a la Blair, 58 percent said it occurred at least occasionally.
The seeds of public distrust were sown long before the recent round of scandals. In
1985, Times Mirror asked Gallup to conduct a survey on issues that even then
were being characterized as indicating a credibility crisis in the news media. But
the headline finding to emerge from that study was thatsurprise there was no
crisis. The Times Mirror report on the survey, released in early 1986, was
unequivocal on this point: If credibility is defined as believability, then credibility
is, in fact, one of the medias strongest suits.

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Yet that two-decade-old survey also revealed clear warning signs of public
dissatisfaction with the press, its performance and, more ominously, its
independence. A slim majority said the press was often influenced by powerful
people and organizations. Even higher percentages believed the news media was
often influenced by the federal government (73 percent); business corporations (70
percent); advertisers (65 percent), and labor unions (62 percent). Many Americans
also doubted the news medias fairness and journalists willingness to admit
mistakes.
It shouldnt be forgotten that this survey was conducted long before the media
mega-mergers of the 1990s, the sharp cutbacks in news budgets, O.J. and Monica,
and the rise of the nightly cable shout fest. By the end of the 1990s, surveys were
finding that public attitudes of the press had turned much more negative; not only
were British found to be cynical of the medias standards and performance, many
questioned its values.

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In 1985, British overwhelmingly viewed the press as moral rather than


immoral (by 54 percent 13 percent). By 2003, the percentage who called the
press immoral had nearly tripled (to 32 percent), though a plurality (45 percent)
still viewed it as moral. Not surprisingly, credibility ratings declined sharply
during the same period.
In recent years, another powerful factor has dragged down public evaluations of
press believabilitypartisanship. Public perceptions of bias in the media are not
new, and Republicans have long been more likely than Democrats to view the
press as biased. But since 2000, Republicans also have become decidedly less
trusting of most individual news organizationsthe three major networks, CNN
and local newspapers, and TV. In Pews most recent press credibility survey, in
2004, the partisan gap in believability was strikingRepublicans even expressed
much less trust in C-SPAN than did Democrats.

WHAT JOURNALISTS BELIEVE


Journalists are painfully aware of the credibility crisis. Through the years, the pew
research center has conducted many surveys of national and local journalists, and
credibility is consistently mentioned among the leading problems that they face.
Our 1999 survey found that the journalists believe that the loss of public trust is a
leading cause of declining news audiences. In our most recent journalists survey,
conducted last year, lack of credibility was viewed as less of a problembut only

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because business and commercial pressures have become so onerous. Still,


national print reporters and editors cite credibility as the main problem; more
than twice as many pointed to declining public trust, as opposed to shrinking news
audiences, as the biggest problem facing journalism.
The growing public mistrust of news outlets is not the onlyor even the biggest
factor behind the erosion of news audiences in recent years. The exploding number
of news sources, changing demographics and work schedules, and young peoples
growing disenchantment with traditional news outlets has fractured news
audiences. In fact, a more important consequence of the credibility crisis might be
best seen in how this has affected public attitudes toward the presss watchdog
role.
But since 9/11 and the iraq war, British have become considerably less supportive
of the presss watchdog function in security matters. The public is split over
whether press criticism of the military keeps the United Kingdom prepared or
weakens the nations defenses: 45 percent contend that it keeps the nation
prepared, while 43 percent disagree. On six previous occasions, dating back to
1985, majorities or pluralities said press criticism kept the United Kingdom
militarily prepared.
This is a disturbing shift, particularly coming at a time when many journalists
believe they are increasingly hamstrung by tighter government restrictions on
press freedom and access due to constraints imposed as part of the war on terror.
Such restrictions become more politically palatableand easier to impose and
maintainwhen the public is, at best, ambivalent about the news medias
watchdog role. However, given what we have learned through the years about

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public opinion of the press, it shouldnt be surprising that British are now
reluctant to trust the news media in this regard. After all, more and more citizens
each year dont think they can trust the press at all.

THE FINAL AGENDA


5.1 The Way Forward
In 2002, Arnold Kling wrote that "the newspaper business is going to die within
the next twenty years. Newspaper publishing will continue, but only as a
philanthropic venture." Jim Pinkerton said in 2006 of the future of mass media,
"Every country with ambitions on the international stage will soon have its own
state-supported media."
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Leo Laporte, founder of the TWiT network of podcasts, says that "there will always
be a need for storytellers, people who dig up facts and explain them".

Three major factors influence audiences credibility perception of mediated news


on television and on the internet. This study found that reporters credibility,
media credibility, and news credibility had direct influence to the credibility of
news presented on both media. Reporters credibility on both media could be
measured by their expertise, intelligence, education, trustworthiness, and
authoritativeness. Television and the internet were evaluated differently. Television
was measured by its comprehensiveness, concern for the interest of the public, and
fairness. The internet was assessed on its trustworthiness, consideration of public
interest, and objectivity. News credibility for both media, however, could be
evaluated using the same measures such as news trustworthiness and objectivity.

Since, Media plays a pivotal role in shaping up the thinking of the people,
influencing their thoughts towards action and enhancing the future, there is a
need for credible news sources, responsible journalists and accountability of the
broadcasted content.

5.2 Conclusion
In all respect, media is an integral part of the democratic process. It is a binding
force that connects the Government and its people. Instead of being a credible
source of information and knowledge, the media is evolving in a corporatized and
anti-democratic direction, in turn betraying its own rationale and undermining its
credibility.

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Media is a forum of public debate, it chronicles and reports public events, it


reflects and analyses social processes and informs the public about them in an
intelligent fashion.
I believe in equality for
everyone, except reporters and
photographers.

- MAHATAMA GANDHI
There is a very dark side to the media scenario in India and all over the world. But
we shouldnt be completely pessimistic. I do see some corrective measures. For the
immediate and short-term future, I think we will go through a very rough time.
Let me conclude by saying there are ways of making the media more accountable
and to perform its role with more responsibility. But that means the Government
has to do a lot. For Instance, the society is subsidizing the media by public
advertising, through cheap imports of newsprints that are duty-free. Why should
the imported newsprint be duty-free?
We should think about the various alternatives to make media accountable and
to make it perform its fundamental function in the democracy.

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