Saturday, July 30, 2016

Arnab Goswami Interview of Narendra Modi

In the month of July, 2016 Arnab Goswami, chief editor of Times Now managed to get an interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The content of the interview and demeanor of Arnab Goswami, the interviewer, has come under intense discussion. Many senior journalists and editors have suggested Times Now had got the interview because of consistently promoting pro-government views. Arnab was criticised for being too mild with the Prime Minister and not countering the Prime Minister more aggressively.  Some have demanded PMO should organize press conference for question answer session with a bigger audience, instead of bestowing favor to a single channel. Arnab Goswami has defended his interview and said since his channel is most watched, prime minister chose to give an interview to Times Now. 

It is a matter of speculation, if Times Now got the interview with prime minister for cow towing ruling party line. It is also not possible to answer if Arnab Goswami was awed by prime minister. It is, however, known for a long time that a cosy relationship exists between politicians and news media.  Senior journalist, Ms. Tavleen Singh has written extensively how congress party worked to manage media, by congress president having tea with senior reporters / editors at her residence. That a cosy relationship existed between politicians and journalists also emerged when Radia Tapes emerged. More recently an ex-reporter, who is currently a faculty at Jamia Milia, has also confirmed how politicians pull strings and bestow favours with journalists at different levels, from beat reporter to channel owner. 

One journalist was compared with Christian Amanpour of CNN. Christian Amanpour shot into fame for covering gulf war live. Christian Amanpour, however, did not get any citation or decoration from Government of America. In India, journalist was awarded with Padmashree, for covering Kargil war and most likely for her coverage of Gujarat riot.

It is implicit that governments manipulate journalists in various ways. In India journalists and politicians have a symbiotic relationship. Politicians offer a good scoop, while journalist manages politicians image. Why blame Arnab Goswami for getting an interview with Prime Minister of India.

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