India Government and Media
World Press Freedom Rank: India 142/180
According to Reporters without Borders India’s journalists are “Attacked online and physically” For example, the report states “Those who espouse Hindutva, the ideology that gave rise to Hindu nationalism, are trying to purge all manifestations of “anti-national” thought from the national debate.” Further, in 2018 six journalists were murdered.
Government Influence on Media: According to USA based Freedom House, privately-owned media are “vigorous and diverse”. However, it says that the authorities use “security, defamation, and hate speech legislation to curb critical voices.” The Media Ownership Monitor reports that the huge media market of India is controlled by a few wealthy families and corporations. The analysis concludes that “76% of the market is controlled by four entities: Dainik Jagran, Hindustan, Amar Ujala, and Dainik Bhaskar.” This indicates a significant corporate bias. Further, The Bureau of Outreach & Communication details the guidelines for Government advertising, which consists of a significant portion of advertising revenue for Indian Newspapers. In other words, the Government is the primary advertiser in media, which is also the primary source of revenue for media outlets. This leads to significant pro-Government bias, as the Government will spend more to advertise in outlets that are supportive of them.
In summary, the Government of India has a very strong influence on media.