Media ownership matters
Mass media influence the way facts are viewed and debated in the society. Independence and pluralism in media, public opinion and views— including criticism of people in power— are the safeguards of a healthy democracy. Monitoring and ensuring ownership pluralism is the first step toward independence and freedom of choice.
In India, the media industry has seen immense growth with the burgeoning number of news television channels, online and offline newspapers and magazines, and of course, live news delivered to handheld devices like mobile phones, news reaches a staggering audience size, that is only growing every day. Has this increase in the reach of media in general, and news in particular, contributed to the plurality and diversity of opinions or has it enabled strengthening of one opinion and muzzling the divergent voices?
Media ownership structure is crucial to maintaining the freedom of the press. If the ownership rests within the hands of a certain group that have specific political or business affiliations the consequences are a compromised press freedom and unhealthy democracy.
In India, then, is the ownership of media, an exclusive club? Or is the ownership spread across various groups and strata of society? Is there a plurality in the way that news is disseminated, or does it propagate a thought and an agenda?
The Media Ownership Monitor – India finds out that while the ownership of media seems fairly plural at the national level, it is highly concentrated when one zooms into the regional level. More importantly, prominent national players have ceded their position of eminence at the regional level, where local players rule.
Find out more about Who Owns Media in India? In our database.