Media being used as propaganda arm by state, capitalist forces, says Kerala Speaker M.B. Rajesh

‘News being made a commodity and a spectacle’

The media is being used as a propaganda machinery by both the state and capitalist forces and it is also found to play to the tunes of communalism, Assembly Speaker M.B. Rajesh has said.

Delivering a lecture at an event held in memory of late journalist N. Rajesh here on Tuesday, the Speaker said that news was being made into a commodity and a spectacle. “I am reminded of an incident told by a school teacher during 2019, a year after the disastrous floods. One of his students asked him if there would be floods that year too. Because he apparently liked watching people waddling through water on TV while he curled up under a blanket on a sofa in his drawing room,” said Mr. Rajesh. Watching other people’s plight had become fun for some, he said.

Mr. Rajesh pointed out that untruth was being “worshipped” as the society was being flooded with fake news and paid news (to suit the interests of the state and capitalist forces). “Another cause for concern is the celebration of communalism. On the day of the shilanyas of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya, some TV news anchors were seen singing a live duet. That was also a declaration that independent journalism is dead in India,” he said.

He noted that media freedom in the country was not separate from the fundamental rights of the people. Media freedom would be there only if the people had their basic freedom. It should be remembered that during the Emergency both were curtailed and press censorship evoked. “However, both politicians and those in the media should subject themselves to self-criticism. Some mediapersons seem to think that they are beyond criticism. It is not correct. The media should always stand with the people’s interests,” said Mr. Rajesh.

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