Indian media in deadly caste warp

22Apr07

Journalism is called the fourth pillar of democracy and media has always raised a vociferous debate on the caste cauldron in society. But has the Fourth Estate itself ignored the principles of democracy in their institutions?

According to a survey conducted across the newsrooms of top newspapers and television news networks by Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), it’s the upper caste that makes the key editorial decisions for the rest of the country.

The survey covered over 300 top editors working in 40 television and print news networks, and profiled them in terms of age, religion, caste/community and gender. It reveals that Hindu upper caste men, who constitute just eight per cent of the total population of India, hold over 70 per cent of the key posts across newsrooms in the country.

The so-called twice born Hindu castes dominate 85 per cent key posts despite constituting just 16 per cent of the total population, while the intermediary castes a represent meagre three per cent.The Hindu Other Backward Class groups, who are 34 per cent of the total population, have a share of just four per cent in the Indian newsrooms.

Muslims, who constitute about 13 per cent of the population, control just four per cent top posts while Christians and Sikhs have a slightly better representation. But the worst scenario emerges in the case of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).

Source: IBN7



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