Majority of Journalists Say Media Covers Modi Govt ‘Too Favourably’


The survey conducted by Lokniti and the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) claims that journalists were equally divided when asked if the Indian news media unfairly targets the Muslim community.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — A whopping number (80%) of journalists in India feel that all media — print, TV, and digital — cover the Narendra Modi government “too favourably,” a recent study published by Lokniti and Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) has found out.

The report, “Indian Media: Trends and Patterns”, aimed at assessing the overwhelming presence of media in the everyday lives of journalists and consumers, was published this week. About 75% of the 206 journalists covered in the comprehensive survey were male. During the assessment, the participant’s age, language, level of seniority, and media association were also considered.

The survey report also said more than half of the women journalists feel ‘extremely unsafe’ about their privacy on Twitter and Facebook.

Among the respondents, 64% were employed by media organisations, 27% were independent journalists and 9% worked with organisations and independently as well. As many as 41% were Hindi journalists, 32% were English, and the remaining 27% worked in other regional languages. Over 56% were senior journalists and mid-level journalists comprised 35% of the participants, while junior and entry-level comprised 6% and 3% respectively.

The report said that three-fourths of journalists agreed that “there is favouritism towards one party” when it comes to media coverage. Of independent journalists, 82% said that the media “generally favours certain political parties”.

The percentage of journalists observing a bias towards one political party within media houses was 73. When asked which political party is supported by their media organisations, 82% said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), while 3% noted a bias towards the Congress.

A whopping 80% of journalists said that the Indian news media covers the Modi government “too favourably”, while 61% reported that the Opposition is covered “too unfavourably”

Journalists surveyed were equally divided when asked if the Indian news media unfairly targets the Muslim community. Those who fully agreed and the ones not in agreement were 26% each.

Responding to a question about freedom of the press, 72% of the respondents said they believe news channels are “less free to do their job properly these days”. The corresponding figure for print journalists was 55% and for digital journalists, it was 36%.

About 71% of independent journalists also said that newspapers today are “less free to do their job properly”.

The report also stated that journalists generally felt that the quality of news coverage had deteriorated for news channels and print, but improved for news websites.

Furthermore, the Lokniti-CSDS survey reports that digital journalists are more likely to encounter social media harassment, with 78% of them experiencing harassment on their online posts. For TV journalists, the figure was 55% and 54% for print.

The survey asked the respondent how many times they had been abused, threatened, bullied or trolled online for having posted or commented on something on social media. A whopping 64% of them said they had been harassed “at least once”.

The report also suggests that media organisations need to prioritise their employee’s well-being. They should introduce support systems like employee assistance programme, mental health resources and development opportunities, encouraging a work-life balance.


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