Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not take private media along with him to his first foreign visit to Bhutan, and is unlikely to do so when he visits Brazil in a few days. This break from tradition is only the most glaring example of how the new government is keeping the media at arm’s length.

What is arguably more shocking is his diktat to ministers and bureaucrats to avoid meeting journalists. Lack of access to officialdom is the biggest grouse among Delhi’s journalists. Yet, this isn't surprising for those who closely watched Modi’s stint as Gujarat chief minister.

Journalists hovering around ministers and bureaucrats get leaks that can potentially be against other ministers and bureaucrats, or even the prime minister. Typically, it is one’s own people who give out information that comes back to bite the government and party.

Taking journalists on a plane means adhering to the custom of answering their questions on the way back. Modi is known not to be very fond of answering journalists’ questions. He has Doordarshan and Facebook, the Press Trust of India and Twitter. Unlike government and social media, private media doesn’t let him control the narrative.

This is sure to backfire in due course. Once journalists know they are not getting access, they know they have nothing to lose. Once they have nothing to lose, they are not afraid of calling a spade a spade, and going in strong against the powers that be. Politicians who keep away from the media get the worst press, almost always. Modi hopes this won’t be the case because he will communicate directly with the people through social media.

When Facebook likes can bring votes, why does the politician with the third largest number of followers on Twitter need our noisy news channels?

While denial of access could prove to be bad for Modi himself, it would, ironically, be good for the Delhi media. The Delhi media thrives on access, so much so that access journalism has become an end in itself. In the madness over access journalism, Delhi journalists have forgotten that all scoops are not alike.

Journalism teacher Jay Rosen famously categorised scoops into four types:

1) The enterprise scoop, "where the news would not have come out without the enterprising work of the reporter who dug it out".

2) The ego scoop, "where the news would have come out anyway – typically because it was announced or would have been announced – but some reporter managed to get ahead of the field and break it before anyone else".

3) The trader's scoop, where getting out the information earlier than it would have come out on its own is important "for a special category of user – the traders, investors, arbitrageurs – minutes and even seconds can count".

4) The thought scoop: The most under-recognised type of scoop is the intellectual scoop: "Stories with new insights, that coin terms, define trends, or apprehend – name and frame – something that’s happening out there… before anyone else recognises it.“

The Delhi media is all about the ego scoop. Politicians and bureaucrats are able to cultivate journalists by simply giving them the press release a day or two before it is released. The result is that access compromises the journalist’s maneuvering space to be critical.

More importantly, the rat race for the ego scoop undermines the most important scoop, the thought scoop. We often don’t look at the big picture, don't take the long view, don't see the obvious, forget the past, don't study the boring reports, substitute access journalism for ground reporting, believe the official word.

Narendra Modi might just be doing us a favour by keeping us away.