The world of journalism in India is substantially biased and no media outlet can be termed as neutral because of the promoter’s and journalist’s convictions and connections.
Take for example the first commercial news channel – NDTV. It’s founder and CEO Prannoy Roy is married to Radhika Roy who is Brinda Karat’s sister and Prakash Karat’s sister-in-law. So the news and coverage always have a tint of left leanings, and not only that, even the anchors they hire follow the code of the founder.
India Today has an interesting mix. While the media group is owned by Aroon Purie who started the India Today magazine during the dark Emergency days, it has stayed on the anvil of being neutral. It did not hand over the reins to Rajdeep Sardesai, a well known leftist anchor when he was made to leave CNN IBN but rather brought him onboard as a consulting editor to tap his popularity. And they made Rahul Kanwal who is a novice in his own right as its news director. The channel also brings in right wing achors in Shiv Aroor and Gaurav Sawant. It is a good mix but the biases are localized to the anchor and not to the channel.
Arnab Goswami does not try to hide his true skin as some of the anchors and channels try to portray. He has partnered with Rajeev Chandrashekar in the media house conglomeration. His leanings did not start with this foray but was rather evident in Times Now, his previous job. In fact, his team at Times Now have started where he left and have been leaning towards the right ever since.
Arnab recently shared his reasons for his biases. During a debate involving the infamous tukde tukde gang, he said, “a journalist is not supposed to be neutral. I will not be neutral when it comes to national interests. And I am saying this to all the people who are constantly asking me or (retired army officer) GD Bakshi or Gaurav Arya to be neutral. Will we be neutral. We will not be neutral.”
He went on to add in the debate, “We are going to take decisive military action against India’s enemies. Khatam, khatam, khatam (Finish). That’s what we are going to do. Khallas (finished). We are going to slap you with sedition, khallas. End of the story. Your voice will be countered with truth. No more with Shehla Rashid, Kanhaiya Kumar lie… You are going to be marginalised. I am declaring my intention.”