Indians are news junkies. They love reading news, they love sharing their opinions and they love to disapprove the perspectives of others. With more than 75,000 newspapers and well over a1000 satellite channels in several languages, India is one of the prominent markets in the Information realm.
Over 125 million copies of newspapers are sold each day in India. Advertising still remains the mainstay of the print media. But that is not the only way. Some newspapers are also ‘helped’ by prominent national and regional parties. And this is not all wrong.
There exists a bias in every one of us. Newspapers in India are no exception. Almost every prominent newspaper in India is known to have a strict ideological allegiance and a steadfast commitment to a (in some cases many) political parties.
This article segregates the newspapers in India according to their political ideology and their allegiance to political parties.
Political View: Centrist
1. The Times of India:
Often called the Numero-Uno amongst the Newspapers in India, Times of India is India’s largest selling daily. It works on composite of local editions. Times of India has been a centrist newspaper since its inception. It effectively tries to portray itself as a ‘nationalist’ newspaper but a very visible bias for The United Progressive Alliance can be seen in it. It also is a big critic of the right wing causes. The bias against BJP and other right wing parties can be gauged from the fact that it has often come up with misinformation about the Narendra Modi government. However, TOI is always ready to make up with an apology. The font size difference between the misinformation and apology is startling. “Err big-Apologize small” is a tried and tested technique in the Times of India Camp.
2. Indian Express:
When the Indian Express was founded, it was a leading voice of the right wing in India. Ramnath Goenka, the founder of the Indian Express Group was a member of the RSS. Indian Express divided into two factions after the demise of Shri Goenka. We’ll discuss about the second faction later in the article. Indian Express can be called a Hitman in the print industry, it comes up with scathing critique of the government it doesn’t like. Indian Express is (in) famous for doing a series of slating articles. The current Indian Express is again largely centrist and is known to have a Pro-Congress stand.
3. The Tribune:
It’s a famous rumor that Manmohan Singh only reads the Tribune and why not? The Tribune is a complete centrist paper with strong preference for the Congress Party
4. Hindustan Times:
More of a tabloid than a newspaper, the Hindustan time is blatantly centrist and unapologetically Pro-Congress. HT had its origin in freedom movement and ever since India got free, the HT has been a leading propagandist for the Congress party.
5. Deccan Herald:
Deccan Herald is a strong player in the Karnataka region and the leading competitor of The Hindu in terms of ‘intellectual’ content. Deccan Herald is a Centrist newspaper but not blatantly so. Deccan Herald is Pro-Congress but not unapologetically so. Deccan Herald is like the Hindustan Times with better content and weaker biases. A good read any given day.
Political View: Center-Left
1. The Hindu
For a novice and the uninitiated, the name of this newspaper paints the image of it being a hardcore right wing newspaper but it is completely the opposite. The good thing about the Hindu is that it doesn’t shy away from admitting that it is an organized left newspaper. It is a favorite of IAS aspirants as The Hindu Editorials are counted as the best intellectual content on the internet (however far off from the realities they may be). The Hindus is as center-left as it can get and it has a strong bias for the Left parties along with the Congress. Prominent right wing parties like the BJP and the Shiv Sena are condemned frequently in different pages of it.
2. The Telegraph
The Telegraph is a hardcore leftist newspaper that oscillates between glorifying the communist traditions to eulogizing the prominent left wing leaders. The paper is brazenly anti BJP, though it features articles from Swapan Das Gupta time and again. While being married to the leftist cause, the Telegraph is also known to clink a few pegs with the Congress party.
Political View: Center-Right
1. The New Indian Express:
The New Indian Express is the splinter group formed after the dissociation of the original Indian Express group. This paper follows the traditions upon which The Indian Express was founded. Although the paper is known to be close to The BJP, it doesn’t shy away from taking a dig or two on the saffron party.
It is a joint venture between Dainik Bhaskar and Essar Group and is a leading voice in the Mumbai area. It features well researched opinions on different matters concerning the nation. DNA has a center-right flavor is known to have a softer stand on the BJP.
3. The Pioneer:
Known for its impressive papers and opinion pieces, the Pioneer is the elite club of prominent right wing voices in India. The nationalism is evident from its pieces while sincere efforts are made to avoid Jingoism. It is often called the leader of the right wing voices in India.
So we see right wing is a grossly misrepresented voice in India. While in USA and other countries, there is a fair representation of the right wing voice in the media, In India it is the Center and Center-lefts who outnumber the right wing voices by a huge margin. Of late a number of political blogs have come up which make up for the loss somehow.