Media Matters

'We should now be talking about the criminalisation of media': Is this senior editor right?

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta speaks about the slide of corruption in media into outright criminal activities.

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In a panel discussion organised by the Centre for Policy Analysis, senior journalist and author Paranjoy Guha Thakurta spoke about the changing nature of media and democracy.

"The spread of the internet has coincided over the last eight years with the recession," Guha Thakurta begins in the video above. "Until 2004, there were more television sets in India than telephone lines. Today, we have a situation where in a population of 1.25 billion people, we have about a billion SIMs. In most parts of urban India, there are more SIMs than human beings."

According to the editor of the Economic and Political Weekly, this has already caused, and will continue to cause, a massive shift in consumer patterns and what they have access to. In spite of which, Guha Thakurta says, few attempts are made for regulation. Instead, "We have anarchy."

"We have half a dozen statutory regulatory bodies and I don't need to elaborate on their state. We have the Central Board of Film Certification, we have the Prime Minister's propagandist heading it. We have the Press Council of India, to describe it as a toothless tiger would be very charitable."

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