These days, there is something new and different going on in my life that I am getting personally involved in: I am part of a group of people with the vision of creating an independent news channel, free of corruption, run by the people and for the people.
Media is called the fourth pillar of democracy. Media plays a very important role in society, in the life of people, actually in nearly all aspects of life! People’s opinions are formed by media, media influences their minds and then of course, decisions are taken accordingly. This influence can be positive or negative for a certain topic! And of course, when those who run the media outlets become selfish and use their influence not for the benefit of society but for their own benefit, the results are horrible!
I have heard of this from America and we have seen it very clearly in India as well: there are just a bunch of people who are controlling and manipulating media. They don’t have the wish to give news and inform people but they see their own advantage and decide according to that.
In India’s latest general election, this was quite obvious: the biggest corporates of this country supported the BJP, the party of India’s current Prime Minister Narendra Modi by practically throwing money at them to hand it over to the press or by using their own influence – obviously gained by money – to make TV channels show and repeat advertisement and good news about Modi. And Modi won.
The media was heavily criticized for this behavior after the election as well – mainly in social media where everyone can say what he or she wishes. It seemed that there were no morals – only money. And it is clear what is happening: by buying ‘Network 18’, Mukesh Ambani controlled one of India’s biggest media networks and now he is planning to buy another one, Sun TV! He and his company will be paying to give certain news and not give others. The support that he gave to Modi is paying out to him: there are so many ways in which the government helps corporates, so that they get out the money they have invested!
Money, it seems, runs the world. Those who pay can manipulate the media and decide what the public gets to see. The poor however don’t get anything. Nobody hears their voice.
Several renowned journalists in high positions of the country’s most known media houses saw what was going on. Money decided whether the news which they had in their hands would be shown to the public or not. It insulted their sense of journalism. That was not what they felt was right, what they wanted to work for. They got irritated and a few of them left their well-paid jobs with a vision for something different:
They wanted to create a media channel free of such issues. Can we have a media house which is not owned or influenced by a specific political party or any corporate but instead owned by the public? To do real journalism which is impartial and not sellable?
When I got to know about this idea online and expressed that I would support such an idea, I was approached by them. I believe it is necessary – especially after I have made my own disappointing experiences with media. That is another story which I will tell another time. I joined their efforts and we met a few times.
Now, a public trust has been created to run the channel. Our main motto is that it will be a channel against and free of corruption. I mentioned in our second meeting that the public, whose channel this will be, should not only be the consumers of news but also be reporters themselves! People from the general public who may not have diplomas but who come from normal life’s situations. They should have the courage to expose corruption around them.
The trust and mission is called ‘India Samvad’ and today, on 23rd March 2015, the death anniversary of martyr Bhagat Singh, we have launched our website www.indiasamvad.co.in. It is a first glance and over time, it will be developed further. People already have the possibility to share their own reports and we will connect more and more people, over this website, the facebook page and the facebook group. And of course we will go until there will finally be a news channel – by the people and for the people!
And as the news will not be shown – or not shown – because of money, we will have the strength and courage to give honest news and show what is really going on!
I would like to spread this idea and get your support for this mission. Please join the group, read the page, share your news and contribute in whatever way you can and feel is right! I believe it will be for the best of this country to get real news to the people who are not the small minority who is in power!