Al Jazeera shows the mirror to Indian media: Where is rural reportage?

The News Minute | March 30, 2015 | 3:40 pm IST

Seventy percent of India’s population or 800 million people live and work in rural areas. Why, then, is India’s mainstream media’s rural reportage virtually absent?

Al Jazeera’s news feature titled “The Indian media’s rural blind spot” throws the spotlight on the minimal focus on rural reporting in the country, looking in to the reasons behind the imbalance.

An Indian media research firm analyzed front page rural coverage of three English and Hindi newspapers for the months of November and December 2014 and showed that the coverage was zero, with one exception of The Hindu, which has not had another rural affairs editor after former editor P Sainath resigned.

Television media outlets did not fare any better with an analysis of the prime time programming of six channels in November 2014 revealing rural news did not make it past 7% of total news time on any channel.

Besides P Sainath, Al Jazeera also spoke to Rajdeep Sardesai, consulting editor at the India Today group, author Kamala Visweswaran and Narasimha Reddy, rural reporter of Telugu daily Eenadu.
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