Proper coverage of “deprivation”: Ethical considerations for students of Indian journalism

Asian College of Journalism: Covering Deprivation

During the second term, all students take a required course— the only one of its kind taught by a journalism school anywhere in the world — Covering Deprivation.

“Deprivation” refers to the inability of individuals in a society to achieve basic human functionings. Among these are the ability to live a long and healthy life free from avoidable disease and hunger, and the opportunity to be educated and to have access to resources needed for a socially acceptable standard of living. Some forms of deprivation may apply to all, or to the majority of, the members of specific social groups (such as Dalits) or classes (such as landless agricultural labourers).

Although deprivation so defined is a huge part of contemporary Indian reality both in the countryside and in cities, the mainstream media do not generally give it informed, sustained coverage. […]
The course culminates in an extended field trip, following which students present their findings in The Word, as television and radio features, or in www.Covering depending on their stream. ACJ [Asian College of Journalism] students, in collaboration with UNICEF, cover issues of deprivation affecting children. These stories are archived in an online portal. […]

Source: Covering Deprivation – ACJ
Date Visited: 26 March 2020

While occasionally some changes to my text were made without my consent, there was no attempt to get me to rewrite my column or change its arguments. Until … – Historian Ramachandra Guha whose books include India After Gandhi and Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World (Column for The Wire, “Government”, 19 April 2020)

Learn more about reporting in India:
Reporters Without Borders,
by searching Indian periodicals and viewing posts on media portrayal >>

[T]here have been constant press freedom violations […] The coordinated hate campaigns waged on social networks against journalists who dare to speak or write about subjects that annoy Hindutva followers are alarming and include calls for the journalists concerned to be murdered. […] India’s ranking 2020 (monitored since 2013): 142 in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index (-2, 140 in 2019) | View the full overview here >>

Source: Reporters without borders: “Modi tightens his grip on the media”
Date visited: 21 April 2020

Five ethical problems that plague Indian journalism

A global study warns that India’s media boom will be worthless unless these issues are fixed soon. | , March 19, 2015 […]

India’s gargantuan news market has 82,222 newspapers; Delhi alone has 16 English dailies in circulation. It has close to 800 television news channels, an industry that has almost trebled between 2006 and 2014. Added to that are 124 million broadband Internet connections and 1,500 state-owned, privately-owned and community radio stations. […]

If the five debilitating problems in the Indian media are not fixed then India’s media boom will be worthless to journalism, writes Panneerselvan. “Even worse, it will of no value to India’s more than 1.2 billion people who may have more infotainment, sensationalism and political spin at their disposal but who will remain ignorant of the facts and analysis of events around them. When that happens the world’s largest democracy will be seriously weakened.”

1) Paid news
Paneerselvan, who is also readers’ editor of The Hindu, traces the origins of the unethical practice of paid news back to the liberalisation of the Indian economy in 1991. With market forces at play and public investment in private companies, journalists found it sometimes lucrative to write only partially true stories of companies waiting to list on the stock exchanges. […]

2) Opaque private treaties
[…] P Sainath was one journalist who exposed the nexus of political and corporate entities in the news media through such schemes. […]

3) Blatant blackmail […]

4) Widening legal regulatory gap
The Press Council of India has dragged its feet on addressing paid news and other unethical practices, according to the EJN report. […]

5) Flawed measurements of audience reach and readership
The yardsticks to measure the reach and impact of the Indian media are dubious at best, the report says. […]

Source: Five ethical problems that plague Indian journalism
Date Visited: Fri Nov 17 2017 20:11:35 GMT+0100 (CET)

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

“We have to write our own stories, about our issues, from our own perspectives” Abhay Xaxa, a “Fiercely Unapologetic Adivasi Scholar-Activist | Read more >>

Tip | Health and the nutritional value of indigenous grains, seeds and millets: “The tribal food basket has always been ­diverse and nutritious” >>

How India compares with the world
Graphic by Praveen G. & Damayanti Datta
© Outlook India (14 August 2019)
Full size viewing >>
Tip | Health and the nutritional value of indigenous grains, seeds and millets:
“The tribal food basket has always been diverse and nutritious” >>

“Health spending by the Indian government as percentage of GDP has long been one of the lowest for any major country, and the public health system is chronically dismal.” – Pranab Bardhan in “The two largest democracies in the world are the sickest now” | Learn more:, 24 August 2020 >>


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Related posts

Tip: Search The Committee to Protect Journalists (India) for “tribal”, “Adivasi” or similar keywords (e.g. a particular Indian State or Union Territory)

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This entry was posted in Accountability, Adverse inclusion, Childhood and children, Commentary, Democracy, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Press snippets, Quotes, Rural poverty, Storytelling. Bookmark the permalink.