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Monday, May 14, 2012

Prasanna profiles Indian newspapers

Part 1- A survey on Ideologies & political leanings of English Language Newspapers August 29, 2011 24 Comments Posted By Prasanna  Newspaper       Ideological Orientation        Political Leaning       Political Leaning details          Expert Comments of media watch team

The Times of India   Centrist          Slightly UPA  During the stewardship of Girilal Jain the paper bravely embraced nationalist causes and this paved a way for a collective natiohood consciousness to emerge among India's rising middleclass. In the present times, paper operates as conglomeration of local editions. We established based on inputs received from local edition readers that slight Congress bias can be deciphered     Not for nothing is TOI India's largest selling newspaper. A remarkable understanding of readership demographics and ability to build campaigns around issues that resonate with midle class at a given point of time gives the paper a huge edge. While a self-styled thoughtful reader might mock the newspaper, its clearly the TOI that defines the narrative for India's middle class. Its endorsement of Hazare campign has provided it with new found credibility

The Hindu     Organised Left          CPM   Editor in chief was a SFI activist and those closer to ground suggest that he is a card carrying communist. Editor is a close friend of apparatchik Karat            Ideological sensibilities of the paper has drifted between enlightened centre leftism to rabid far leftism based on the branch of family which is at helm of affairs. A cerebral paper it can most certainly be regarded as the newspaper of record in Indian context. Contemporisation of this newspaper has not been hugely successful as it fights huge readership attrition in traditional strongholds. Paper's editorial position is completely out of sync with worldview of its nationalist readership. Ram, despite his embrace of authoritarian regimes in other parts of world, has shown a remarkable committeemen to democratic ideals at home by his consistent anti-Congressism.Presence of good journalistic talent within household has been both boon and bane of this newspaper

Deccan Chronicle      Centrist          UPA    Venkatrama Reddy was Rajya Sabha member of Congress party though the current relationship with AICC media cell remains in realm of speculation as it was rumored that he was building bridges with Chandrababu Naidu  This paper nurtures grandiose dream to build a new media empire. Paper most certainly is a marker leader in Hyderabad. It triggered a price war by launching issues in other metro at an irresistible price point of 1 rs. The owners also have the franchisee for Deccan Chronicle team in IPL

Hindustan Times      Centrist          UPA    Rabid mouthpiece of AICC that it could justifiably mistaken as a official publication of Congress party         Family owned newspaper that had its origin in freedom movement. Current scion of the family is part of permanent Delhi establishment and a powerful media moghul with deep connections across parties but is a Congress member. Has strong presence in Delhi market. It competes with TOI but certainly lacks the energy and zing of TOI

The Telegraph          Center left     UPA    The editor of this paper was married in to a family of communist apparatchiks who always advocated close ties with Congress party given Nehru's Stalinist love fest. The editor continues that glorious tradition of Communist -Congress bhai bhai. She was formerly with Indian Express - her then editor Shekhar Gupta was rumored to have deployed her for writing exclusive piece to viciously vilify BJP   This is a paper is a unreadable concoction that results when Mamta Chalisa meets Sonia Bhaktism. Except for brilliance of Swapan and erudition of Ram Guha, any discerning reader cant be blamed for ignoring this paper with contempt. Given a chance this paper would manifest anti-BJPism even in the obituary section. Its largely a fringe player confined to self-styled intellectual class of Kolkatta

The New Indian Express    Right Wing     Larger NDA   Manoj Kumar Sonathalia counts among others RSS ideologue Gurumurthy as his advisor. New editor of the paper is Prabhu Chawla was once a factional player in intra BJP politics  When Goenka legacy was divided among his feuding family members,all the southern edition of papers were clubbed together under this umbrella. To be fair it has continued the glorious enti-establishment tradition of Shri Goenka while its Northern counterpart has shamelessly fashioned itself as a establishment mouthpiece. This paper continues to show steady improvement in its circulation and triumphed over the Indian Express

The Tribune  Centrist          UPA    Complete pro-Congress newspaper . Manmohan's newspaper reading habits is rumoured to start and stop with this paper which is a geography focused player in Punjab and Haryana         Paper was associated with veterans like H K Dua a government-media complex insider. Bleeding heart intellectuals/peaceniks like Kuldip Nayar frequent the pages of this paper which possibly explains Manmohan's liking to this one

Deccan Herald           Centrist          UPA    Politically aligned to Congress but not in a brazen manner. Its rabid anti-BJPism manifests in coverage of local news  Strong player in Karnataka. Sort of poor cousin to The HINDU. Tries to connect with sensibilities of quintessential old Bangalore-understated, elegant, stylised and thoughtful but does not have the intellectual firepower to express that brand positioning

DNA*  Centrist          None   Under the stewardship of Jagannathan the paper took a distinct centreright turn and also made impressive strides in circulation. Aditya Sinha is steering it back to towards a centrist position by giving voice to diverse strands of opinion     Joint venture between Dainik Bhaskar and Essar Group. Successfully challenged the monopoly of Times in Mumbai market

Indian Express*       Centrist          UPA    Aligned to the Manmohan Singh-PMO Faction. Pro-power and establishment           Great institution build by that brilliant man Arun shourie spectacularly imploding under the stewardship of pygmy Shekhar Gupta. Astonishing decline in Sales. Ready to do hit job at behest of ruling establishment. Pratap Bhanu Mehta's intellect is only saving grace

The Pioneer   Right Wing     Larger NDA   Editor in chief is a BJP member of Rajya Sabha  One of the defining features of changing news-media landscape is the active encouragement and support from readership towards partisan media establishments that are seen to be committed to a set of values and political ideas. Pioneer fills this vacuum Pioneer best suited Indian media establishment that can both catalyze and benefit from a nascent pro-right movement emerging from amidst the urban middle classes.

Mumbai Mirror        De-Ideological           UPA    Times Group's foray in to news localization space. Rabidly anti-Shiv Sena to demonstrate its credentials as sole voice of cool cosmopolitanism            News localization meets scantily clad model market space has proved very successful

Business Standard    Centre-right  UPA    Current editor was the ex-media Czar of UPA till recently. Apparently over rumors of run in with Congress establishment. Surprisingly the paper has been taking on the venal UPA Establishment. Also the paper has an impressive collection of perspicacious columnist

Hindu Business Line            Centre-right  None   No palpable political biases. In fact it gives copious space to intelligent women in BJP like Nirmala/Raje to contribute    If THE now defunct Swantatra party would be publishing a newspaper this is how it could have been. Unabashed advocacy of economic reform. Quite surprising considering the editorial disposition of its founding family

The Economic Times           Centre-right  None   UPA Leaning India's largest selling business paper. Cheerleader of corporate chattering classes. India shinning brigade's worldview is largely shaped by this paper.

About Prasanna - Prasanna Viswanathan is an IT services professional based out of Bangalore and deeply interested in conservative politics, religion, philosophy, technology psephology and history. His confused worldview is a complex interplay of several profound influences - Aurobindo, Ambedkar, Rajaji, Savarkar, Shourie and Dawkins. View all posts by Prasanna  CRI

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