Indian Decade

Media Lull on 2G Scandal

Why haven’t many of India’s top news organizations been properly covering the recent 2G tapes controversy?

It's been disheartening to see the silence of so many of our most respected news organisations over the recent 2G tapes controversy, in which conversations were recorded between high-flying lobbyist Nira Radia and various senior journalists, industrialists and politicians.

The tapes suggest that senior journalists including columnist Vir Sanghvi, Barkha Dutt and Prabhu Chawla acted as lobbyists and/or go-betweens to ensure A. Raja was handed control of the Telecommunications and IT Ministry after the national election in May 2009.

So far, it’s unclear whether they are guilty—it’s just too early for us to know the whole truth. But the fact that some media establishments have been so slow to properly cover this story, doesn't reflect well on the fourth estate.

That said, even while the traditional media have tried to keep the volume down on this, the Internet and a multitude of independent news sites and blogs have ensured that there’s been a bit more of a fuss.

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We’re seeing an unfolding of what senior left leader Brinda Karat recently called a ‘malignant nexus’ of big money and big power. It’s good to know that even though the traditional media is holding back, that there are still enough interested clicks to get the ‘big boys’ worried.