Friday, October 23, 2015

Low viewership for English Channels does not matter

Miracle of life without oxygen

Today the SM is all in glee at the discovery of the facts (that were always there) that most English News Channels have very low audience rating. Or in other words, the number of audience watching English news is low. SM contributors were stung by this surprise and are in a dance; I suspect it will end as a dud of dance and song and nothing else. 

 It is another story of English speaking elite, though small in number having most clout. But for different reasons.

The numbers ascribed to English Channel is very high in reality. In many of the corporates, some of the channels are preferred ones and only those channels are shown by default. For example, in my office, it is NDTV vitiating the atmosphere through the working day. I am sure I am counted in the paltry 183K viewers as many others would have been. The actual numbers of people switching on NDTV to watch will be even less. 

I have a problem with low skill levels in India ( and have started an initiative to work on it, that is another story) and in this song and dance of the SM folks, I again see the same.
It was always known that actual viewership of English News channels was very low. But the problem in India is, unless facts are mentioned by someone with credibility, momentum does not start. People do not think for themselves and make their decisions, which would be a great atmosphere for FoE, but follow their leaders blindly. So when a good leader turns bad or a bad leader comes to the fore, we will always have problem.
Saswati Sarkar wonders why only one side has bought the ‘on sale’ Journalists. It sort of triggered this post. 
It is not a sale of commodity

Obviously the income from abysmally low viewership does not seem to affect the Media as a commercial venture. In the case of Jagan Reddy, the main wonder was, while media did not make money, there were investors lining up in front of Jagan to invest in crores that lead to investigation, (apart from the legendary break-down of relationship between Sonia and Jagan)

According to this article, on the same day, while outsiders were paying INR 13,189 per share, insider was able to buy same share at INR 10 per share. Buyer was Tarun Tejpal and seller, was his brother, wife etc. It may appear that it is not simple publishing business. The newspaper / magazine made phenomenal loss that would have rendered any commercial venture to close its doors but the shareholders made humongous money, through some sophisticated rip-off, through deals that does not stand minimum scrutiny.There have been numerous violations of law and all were overlooked. If any officer tries to look into the violations, either the same officer or his superior can be reached by the same Media. Mafia seems to be a Kindergarten stuff.

It is sad that IT department has done nothing on this matter.


Here is an interesting blog by Seema Sapra @SeemaSapraLaw
Gist of it is, GE bought NDTV shares for INR 642 Crores and sold back to NDTV at INR 58 Crores thus making NDTV a beneficiary of about INR 600 Crores. We see a pattern in the dealings of Tehelka and NDTV, if you follow the theme. What is not documented is the money that could have been paid to individuals in management to facilitate this transaction. No one tried to find out. 

So there is a method. In small towns, some ‘patrakars’ collect money from corrupt officials not to blow the lid off some shady deal. In high places there is sophistication. It seems to be a mixture of blackmail, money laundering, fixing deals and other illegal activities are all there to see. Possibly, first you get to blackmail, then you make the politician your business partner. Then you fix deals for your politician partner, making money on both sides.

Another piece that needs to be read is this.

Here it is alleged money was laundered through NDTV’s UK Subsidiary.There seems to be collusion between the IT officials and the media that employs spouses. On top of it, there is a fully paid vacation that is never fully explained. Hmmm....

Coming to the question of Saswati Sarkar, it is not easy to buy the fixers in the guise of journalists off. It is not a simple transaction of paying money to someone to report agreeable pieces. The profession of journalism is a guise for larger business of fixing deals, money laundering and being part of an illegal and corrupt system that eats into the interest of India. The viewership does not matter. It is in fact, irrelevant. The powers behind certain media are influential and rich business houses. The Liberal media is, apparently, full of such agents for the Liberal leaders. The system is corrupt to the core and do not subsist on small money. If one sees sympathetic reporting emanating from different parts of the world, on straightforward Strawman topics, one can also see the common cause for the journalists. Lucre. And dirty lucre. 

If you want to buy these Journalists, the money involved is in crores. Unless one indulges in selling own nation, it is not possible to feed these avaricious journalists.

Imagine the uproar if media houses are punished for any of the money laundering business. There would be ‘attempt to muzzle the media’ all over the air. The Journalism is a good calling to be in if your mail profession is political fixing and blackmailing. Blackmailing begets power to political fixing.

Buying off a Journalist is not a simple transaction. The day BJP tries to buy them, it would mean, the party we repose faith in has become as corrupt as its predecessor.

One reason why good Journos remain poor as Church mouse, lose jobs. Or turn rich on siding with the system. 

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