How the Modi government ‘monitors’ the media

A body created to flag violations of the programming and advertising code seems to have turned into the ruling party’s ‘media cell’, keeping tabs on critical coverage.

July 2018 marked Punya Prasun Bajpai’s fourth month at ABP News. It was also his last. On 6 July, the seasoned television journalist ran a momentous fact-check on his prime-time show “Master Stroke”. It was about a government programme aired in June that year, where a farmer from Chhattisgarh had told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that her income had doubled after a scheme was introduced by the Bharatiya Janata Party government. The timing of the programme was crucial. Chhattisgarh was only five months away from an assembly election.

But Bajpai was on to something. He sent a reporter to Chhattisgarh. …


Ayush Tiwari

Ayush reports on the travails of the media and social media platforms in India. He was previously at Newslaundry, where he reported on sectarian violence and politics from Northeast India, Kashmir and North India.