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Friday, 16 February, 2001, 12:50 GMT
Should the foreign media be feared or welcomed?
In India, proposals to allow foreign media companies to start business ventures in the country have been forcefully opposed by many in the industry.
There are concerns that foreign companies could end up dominating domestic media markets, crowding out local publications and broadcasters.
What benefits would an expansion of the media market bring? Would the introduction of foreign media provide more jobs and better salaries?
Or would its cultural influence harm South Asian communities?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
AJ Neogi, USA
The foreign TV channels are already here, preventing the print media is meaningless. Also we can expect unbiased and in-depth coverage of fields like legal, education and scientific research etc which are neglected by the Indian print media which is also considerably politicised.
I don't think there is any need to allow foreign media to operate within India. Indian newspapers as well as television and radio channels have, no doubt, proved their worth and can definitely be compared with the best in the world.
Srinivas Rangaraj, Canada
I think India is doing very well in this area and foreign investment will only hinder growth and take most of the jobs outside the country. Furthermore, the Western media is more of a platform for advertisement and the amount of waste generated, especially in the print media, is huge. I do not think India really needs this. For a foreign perspective one only needs to log on to the internet and this is open and well developed in the country.
A foreign media presence would certainly teach the indigenous media the standards expected in professional reporting. This is something that India badly needs. The danger is that such a presence will forge its own agenda. You only have to look at the US media to see how standards have slipped with creeping commercialisation.
Murali Krishna, USA
Why not? Like any media company they will establish their credibility based on balanced and honest reporting. The BBC is a good case in point. I think, we Indians, should understand that media is like a business enterprise: the more the better. We should also have faith in the masses; they are smarter than we think. If the media company is no good it will lose its readers, listeners, viewers, or whatever it has.
If India welcomes foreign media, it would
be great for the public because the truth
will come out and it will be hard to
Pravin Mehta, India
Indian media is dominated by the upper caste. A majority of them is biased against minorities - they will never allow independent media to enter the Indian market.
India does not have a free press or free media. Its press is owned and controlled by the ruling elite who have a self-interest in preserving the status quo, the barbaric caste system, and the deep-rooted corruption in Indian society. Foreign media with free access across all of India will be able to report the truth as it witnesses it. For example, the genocide in Kashmir will be documented and reported upon; the millions of dollars of the earth-quake relief aid that is lining the pockets of the ruling elite will be exposed and those in actual need may benefit.
Local media in India is pretty much boring and stagnant. Let the fresh breeze blow in!
Prasad Sundararajan, USA
Foreign media must be welcomed, however, they must abide by the media laws in India.
Foreign media should be welcome in India and I am sure that all right thinking people will also welcome it. The Indian press is free and nobody or no topic has escaped an alternate view point. It will nurture the democracy in India. As regards India's neighbour's , the foreign media will be feared, both by those in power and fundamentalist forces who are not interested in the objective presentation of facts.
Guru Shenoy, United States
Living in the US and reading the reporting on India from some (not all) American newspapers, leaves one disturbed about journalistic integrity. Apparently, fact checking applies only to news about the west - for the rest any absurdity is fine. I'm guessing part of the reason is arrogance and the other part ignorance. That said, maybe having foreign media in India, itself would actually make them more responsible. At least, it will take care of the ignorance. Also, if there is to be money made this way, maybe the "mentally unequipped to handle diversity" people who are sent to India by newspapers such as the Washington Post will be challenged by a better lot.
Vijay Nair, USA
I don't think that Government policies in countries like India can stop the foreign media. This is because it cannot control whether you read the hardcopy of a local newspaper or the softcopy of an international newsgroup on the internet. With the fast extension of the internet people will adopt the culture that suits them.
Foreign media companies will certainly be feared in India. The simple reason is that the people in power and those who toe their line do not want the objective presentation of facts. They project India as a progressive country that is about to become a great military and economic power whereas the reality is different.
Tony W, Sri Lanka / USA
Its the turn of print media to face up to the challenges it has been preaching to other sectors. Competition is always welcome. Journalism is a pillar of democracy and should be free. We already have BBC, Star TV, CNN, CNBC et al beaming news through radio and cable. The decision on what is right and what is wrong should be left to the readers. I disagree with people who think that print media has a greater impact on culture than television or cinema.
I personally feel that the foreign media should be welcomed in India. It is always better to get an outsider's opinion about various events in India instead of just the local media. The outside viewpoint in most cases portrays an impartial view of any given situation.
India is a poor democracy struggling to nurture its diversity against severe odd with significant hindrance from its geopolitical and historic baggage. It wished to chart its own destiny by remaining non-aligned and has to pay dearly when faced with a lethal forces of big power politics.
There would be legitimate suspicions of foreign controlled media as media control leads to political manipulation. A developing country can ill-afford such potent instruments of coercion and corruption that may not be in the interest of socio-economic progress. There is of course a case that these fears are not well founded in which case a vibrant competition can work wonders for a healthy democracy.
17 Nov 00 | South Asia
India upholds foreign media ban
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