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In India, newspapers grapple with biases about poverty, politics

Published: Saturday, July 6 2013 11:10 p.m. MDT

The ongoing struggles of India’s newspapers to maintain adequate morality and honesty amidst bullish growth projections are detailed in two recent New York Times articles.

In “The Moral Obligation of India’s Media” Manu Joseph reported about the forthcoming book “An Uncertain Glory,” which “argues that India has not done enough for its poor; that this is morally and economically unacceptable … (and) the Indian news media, especially the mainstream English-language publications whose consumers are largely the privileged and the fortunate, is not as interested as it should be in the nation’s bewildering social issues.”

Vinay Sitapati’s article “Hindi Paper Finds Success Going Hyperlocal” profiled the newspaper Patrika, which “has found great success with public interest advocacy journalism” and “has arrived at a winning combination through a mixture of old-fashioned credibility, large circulation, and civic-minded hyperlocal coverage and editions.” The unsullied credibility of Patrika is of premium import in India given “the growing trend in Indian newspapers to offer politicians favorable coverage for money” — a brazen practice that’s taking hold despite the fact India’s print media is expected to grow 17 percent during the next few years (“online reading, the bane of newspapers in the West, is unlikely to replace newspaper consumption in India”).

EMAIL: jaskar@desnews.com

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