How Jagdish Chandra uses news to please the powerful

Chandra has two news channels. He is the managing director and editor-in-chief The 24th and editor-in-chief and managing director First India news, a Rajasthan-centric news channel. He told me that his editorial philosophy is simple: “the news must be fair and independent but with intelligent support to the government.” That’s what I was told, in fact, by those who once met him. The bureaucrat turned media owner believes that a media organization should work with the government.

“We lead the opposition, but there can be no bias against the government,” explained Chandra. “Especially a state government, because they are given more income than the Center in the news. Governments are made at the behest of the people. The media must respect that.”

A look at the YouTube archives First India news and The 24th Provide a clue as to how Chandra puts this idea into practice. First India news It is full of stories about Gehlot, his political party and Rahul Gandhi. The 24thwhile it is almost entirely glorifying and lionizing Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and the BJP.

Khursheed Rabbani, a journalist who worked with Chandra in editorial and administrative roles between 2008 and 2018, told me that “Kaatil sir” has no political affiliation. “He told us that governments change, not us,” Rabbani recalled, “and that we should be with the government. He believed that it is the job of the media to bring the government’s policies to the citizens.”

The 24th it is not a vehicle for investigative journalism. During our lunch, I asked Chandra a hypothetical question: say a reporter at The 24th He finds a scathing story that Amit Shah has misused the powers of his office. Would Chandra direct it? His answer was to escape. “We’ll do an assessment and make a decision on the merits,” he told me.

The 24th it runs in what its main editor callspatti example”. patty is a reference to the news ticker of a television station. every day The 24th workers must run at least a thousand unique tickers. For this, Chandra said he has a team of 4,123 correspondents across the country, one for each assembly constituency.

These figures are astonishing. But Rabbani, he ran the control room etc where patties were gathered, Chandra said that what he calls a “correspondent” is just an “informer” in a city or town, who was paid Rs 2,000 for a certain amount. pattis per month Chandra prefers to call it “freelance”.

At etcRabbani himself had a share of 10 to 15 patties of the day Other journalists and editorial staff had an “average patti rate” – the ticker’s daily output was recorded.

New patti it could go from the ordinary to the extraordinary: a politician’s move; change of seasons; afternoon showers; as well as home loan interest. “Once, when he traveled abroad, Mr. Kaatil called the control room and asked us to execute a strange one. patti“, Rabbani recalled, “it was the rate charged by sex workers in the country he was in. It is still remembered as one of the most controversial news. etc“.

When I asked the former bureaucrat to recall such a ticker, he said he did not remember. “But I got one on fruit prices soon after I went shopping for fruit once in Jaipur,” he said.

Chandra sees no humor in it patti example. “People who take the news ticker lightly are wrong,” he told me. “patty she is the mother of the news. It connects the common viewer with the world. I came up with the model because I think that TV news is always a live TV series.’

For all the fuss pattiAccording to Chandra, he was charged only Re 1 every year during his eight-year tenure etc. “The media is a loss-making industry,” he reasoned. “And I told Ramoji Rao that it is a sin to receive salary from a loss-making company.”

Rao was then the owner etc online, and a large part of it went online later18.

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