A survey by Media Studies Group reveals that a handful of people are monopolizing public opinion through discussions on TV channels on recent issues in connection with Indian Army.
The study reveals that only 54 experts and panelists participated in live shows discussing various issues centered on Indian Army including serious allegations of corruption. The study is based on the survey of 24 programs aired on six news channels of with three each of Hindi and English.
This survey was conducted over the period between March 26 and April 2. It covered live discussions on TV news channels on the issue of allegations of corruption in the Indian Army. The study looks at the participation of panelists and experts with the objective to analyse the discussions held in news channels.
The study includes 24 programmes in 6 news channels, three each in English and Hindi.
Nine shows of Hindi news channel were included while 15 programmes of English channels in the study subject to availability.
A total 54 experts/panelists participated in various programmes across channels out of which only 5 were women participants.
17 former defense officials were seen in studios with 31% representation of overall participation in discussions.
Analysis of Ex-Defense Personnel
One former defense officer alone participated in as many as 6 programmes thus marking his presence in 25% of programmes with 35% share among all participants.
Three former defense officials were present if 4 programmes in different channels on rotation. This participation alone dominates 75% of discussion time across channels.
Three former defense officials participated in 3 programmes each in various channels. With this participation there were 7 former defense officials present rotation wise in all 24 programmes taken in study .
Six former defense officials participated in debates only in English Channels while there were nine such panelists on Hindi shows. Two such panelists were there in both Hindi and English programme.
No women panelist was present among ex defense personnel.
Political Parties in TV Discussions.
A total 17 panelists were there from political world with 31% participation in various programmes.
- All panelists were from five political parties.
- BJP and Congress dominated the representation with 82% among all political parties. Congress had 8 and BJP with 6 leaders participated.
- Abhishek Manu Singhvi of Congress was seen in 5 while Tarun Vijay was in 3 studio discussions. All these shows were on English News Channels . Bhupendra Yadav of BJP also participated in 2 Hindi news channels debate.
- Out of 17 Political representatives Janata Dal (United) through Sabir Ali was visible in only one TV debate. He was the only representative of any regional party.
- D Raja of CPI was also a lone representative from CPI out of 17 participants.
- Tariq Anwar of NCP participated in 2 TV debates in Hindi.
- Congress was represented by two women spokespersons while BJP was with one. Women spokes persons of Congress were seen in Hindi while BJP’s only women spokesperson went to English News Channels.
A total of seven former Bureaucrat participated in programmes with 13% share.
- All former bureaucrats were limited to two English News Channels.
- Two former Bureaucrats were seen in two programmes each.
- Out od 7 former bureaucrats, there was only one women
- Besides journalists on the defense beat, a total of seven journalists participated in these programmes as panelists.
- Out of 24 shows, CNN-IBN produced seven discussion based programmes.
- CNN-IBN had put two its own journalists in two of the programmes it aired.
- One journalist participated in a single programme of NDTV.
- These seven journalists participated in four programmes out of which one each participated in three and two programmes respectively .
- These two journalists shared 37% and 42% of representation respectively.
- Maximum of five Hindi journalists were given platform By NDTV India.
- Only one among women journalists participated in the discussions.
In these programmes besides ex defense officials, bureaucrats, politicians and journalists there were three others whose participation was noticed.
- N Hanumanthappa, Karnataka head of All India Federation SCST, OBC and Minority Welfare Associations participated in one programme in a English News Channel. He took up the misappropriation in defense procurement in 2009.
- Anil Baxi – a former contractor of Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) went on air on NDTV English in two of its programmes.
- CSDS fellow Abhay Kumar Dubey participated in one programme of NDTV India in Hindi.
This study has been designed and done by Journalist and Researcher Vijay Pratap on behalf of The Media Studies Group, India. The group founded and led by Senior Journalist, Columnist and former professor of journalism Anil Chamadia who is working in the field of media research and training since last 6 years.