Thomas Sowell, in his book ‘The Vision of Anointed’ writes, “The media are less a window on reality than a stage on which officials and journalists perform self-scripted, self-serving fictions.” This is very true with regard to Indian media where media is not reporting reality but they are filtering and shaping it according to their agenda. In Odisha, media is getting Institutional bribery for reporting the fiction. Odia media praises their leader of state, Naveen Patnaik, almost with a deep reverence. Why they do so? It seems the riddle has been solved. The Odisha government has implemented Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana which pampers and reward journalists. Under this scheme, the working journalists will get an insurance coverage of Rs. 2 lakh per annum. In the first phase of the scheme, 3,233 journalists have been covered. As the elections are around the corner, the state government has decided to extend many other benefits to the journalists as well. Now, the journalists will be covered not just under life and health insurance but they will also get support from the state government for housing, education and vehicle purchase. The benefit of Rs 4 lakh to working journalists will be provided under this scheme in case of their untimely demise. Journalists would get 3% interest subvention up to 25 lakh for housing loans, 3% interest subvention for four wheeler loan up to Rs. 4 lakhs, 3% interest subvention for two-wheeler loan up to Rs 50,000. Subvention would be released annually after repayment of regular installments with interest, financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh for the journalist in the event of permanent incapacitation and there are many other benefits which the state government is offering.
Bribing Journalists 101. pic.twitter.com/qhNZyxxTLZ
— ????????? ??????? (@debabrata2008) June 7, 2018
Recognising the vital contribution of journalists to society, CM @Naveen_Odisha announced various measures to ensure their all-round welfare & social security; journalists will be covered under life and health insurance, also support for housing, education and vehicles etc. pic.twitter.com/Qer7th7b9T
— CMO Odisha (@CMO_Odisha) June 7, 2018
Clearly, instead of spending money for the welfare of the poor people and removing poverty, the state government has decided to spend the money on the welfare of journalists. It only indicates that the party is not at all interested in the welfare of the people. This is a clear-cut case of institutional bribery and journalists are happily accepting it as well. This implies only one thing that they owe loyalty to the power. Odisha is currently ruled by Naveen Patnaik of Biju Janta Dal. He is very popular in the state and his image is very clean despite the fact that Odisha is plagued by corruption and poverty. It may be so because media of the state is working as his PR.
This is not the first case of monetary reward to media for favorable coverage. In the recently concluded Karnataka elections also such incidents surfaced. DD News Anchor Ashok Shrivastav alleged that Ex-CM of Karnataka distributed one lakh gift pack to the journalists.
#Karnataka में चुनाव से पहले सिद्धारमैया ने पत्रकारों को 1-1 लाख रुपये का गिफ्ट पैक बांटा। इस गिफ्ट पैक में मैक-बुक का तोहफा था। आज एक सूत्र से यह पता चला तब समझ आया कि क्यों मीडिया अपनी सीट से हारने वाले सिद्धारमैया को उनकी हैसियत से बढ़ कर आंक रहा था।
— Ashok Shrivastav (@ashokshrivasta6) May 25, 2018
Just a year before UP assembly elections, Akhliesh Yadav had promised journalists subsidized houses.
In the past as well, several incidences have come where journalists served as the lobbyist just for some monetary assistance. Radia tapes controversy is an infamous example of media-political nexus. In past regimes, media personalities used to get freebies and free foreign tours which they are not getting under the current regime. Many journalists are also rattled because of this. And then there are many spin doctors masquerading as journalists who are in the profession of journalism just to serve a grand old political party. Independent media is just an illusion.
Oswald Mosley, in his book ‘Fascism: One Hundred Questions Asked And Answered’ sums up this media-poltical nexus, “Newspapers are not made any longer by news or journalism. They are made by sheer weight of money expressed in free gift schemes. They serve not the interests of the many, but the vested interests of the few.”