tv Listening Post Al Jazeera April 13, 2014 7:30pm-8:01pm EDT
>> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line. >> but, what about buying shares in a professional athlete? real perspective, consider this on al jazeera america next. hello. you are at the listening post. india goals to the polls in an election that will be a 6-week media marathon. the gavel-to-gavel media coverage of the pistorius trial in south africa. pro-russian protesters target television channels in east ten
ukraine while kiev offers off of the area. tech king dotcoms on the rise in their own game of thrones india has more news channels than any other country. it's print sectors grows. the quantity of coverage is not going to be an issue. the challenger comes out of the state of gujurat. he is lauded as an uncorrect miracle worker among nationalists. critics say major media outlets have been treading lightly around him when he was chief minister of and some high profile names say they have lost their jobs for not climbing aboard the pro-modi band wagon.
this is a huge media story in a pistol country, and it will run until the votes are counted on may 16th. our starting point this week is new delhi. the greatest show in the democratic world. questions about personalities. >> once upon a time, in 2014 is widely expected to be a clash. >> it is becoming about one personality, one person. >> mr. modi said he would never do anything about it. >> they have created a personality cult around this man. >> everything modi does gets blanket coverage on television. >> mainstream media in india has misrepresented, demonized him on false charges. >> the role of the media in this election is huge. it's having a determining impact. >> starting with the numbers,
which are tough to get your head around, by our count, india has 87 television news channels, 16 of them are national, broadcasting in hindi and in english. the rest are regional all-news channels operating in too many languages to mention. the print sector is every bit as crowded. competition is almost always good for journalism. however, in the case of india, in general, and this election in particular, one could argue voters actually suffer from an unhealthy amount of competition in their media. >> they are all trying to cover the same story, and that story is really about personalities. it has become a kind of presidential election. it is not so much issue-oriented. it is personality oriented. and because the competition is so fierce, they are l lowering the bar. you see a lot of what may may be described as falsification of
television news. the model seems to be fox news in the united states which is famous internationally for shouting matches. the indian mainstream media has a huge role in these elections because we are seeing a rise in the education levels of the voter, organization in india is increasing by leaps and bounds. newspaper penetration is massively increasing. the role of the media is very, very high, particularly until terms of the kind of television debates both in the english language as well as the regional languages. >> the media is reflective of the sort of structure of our society, simply that the english language dominates discourse in the same fashion the english language media in this country shapes discourse. if you look at the numbers of the regional media, the hindi is
larger than the english media. the fact is that the discourse starts from the top. >> that discourse centers less on the 10-year-old coalition government led by the left-leaning congress party and its candidate for prime minister, recall gandi than on the challenger, modi of the more conservative bjp. the bjp is considered the pro-business party and the businessmen who own indiann indian news channels are, depending upon whom you believe, either buffetting or nurturing the change. they have seen a growing pro-modi bias in the run-up to these elections. kishwar is a pro-modi journalist who maintains the candidate is a victim, not a beneficiary of media bias, particularly over a story from 2002, the deadly anti-muslim riots in the state that modi governed. >> my book is a detailed study and there are two more books to follow
of how the mainstream media in india has misrepresented him. he did all he could to control the riots, acted in the most responsible way but they have deliberately smeared him for partisan political purposes. there is the, of course, concern among some media houses that if this man actually becomes prime minister, are they going to face trouble? but even so, i don't think that they have it in them to exercise any pressure. >> modi has had a problem with media. >> quietly. >> but particularly with the liberal media if india because although the supreme court of india has absolved him of responsibility for what happened in 2002, there is a perception among large sections of indian media that modi is a polarizing figure.
sections had been, one would say, less than fair to modi on that count. ♪ >> however, it does not take an exhaustive search to find examples of a growing shift in the indian media in modi's direction. the candidate does few intervieand the two he recently has done, one with a regional channel in rajistan, the other with one of the smaller national channels, both featured a series of softball questions and turned into virtual modi monologues. then there is the story of open, a hartosh sin balance until he started digging into a story about this election and lost his job. >> i was writing the articles which were critical of the congress and of them. i was told whatever i was writing was political -- political enemies for the owner of my group. journalistically, i have done nothing wrong.
but after i have left, the magazine has done a 180 degrees shift in how it bills the scene. there has been a change in alliances and the owner, i think, in this case, has also decided to back the main course. >> its not an isolated case. cbn-ibn is one of many channels on the other hand by what is called network 18. caravan magazine published an article quoting unnamed sources within the group who said that pressure was coming from above, that all network 18's media outlets, including cnn-ibn should go easy on modi and the bjp. >> as far as cnn-ibn is concerned at the moment, there is no interference whatsoever. but i would say that as far as corporate-owned media is concerned, there is attendency to root for change and inclination on the part of the busy light who want a leader,
who want a politician who is business-friendly. there is nothing ultimately morally wrong with that. where it does possibly become morally wrong is if trans lates into interference on fair journalism. so far, it's not happening, but we are all owned by corporate entities. so corporate-owned media does tend to root for modi because he is seen as busy-friendly. >> a leader seen as busy business-presentedly and outlets that are prepared to be friendly until return. nobody has more of them particularly on the t.v. side than india. our global village voice is now on the indian media and their elections. >> modi has had a very antagonistic relationship with the indian media. he has made an effort to focus on the visual media as well as social media. they can write the own narrative
now on what it has been about and their own narrative about what modi has been about. it's tough to say whether all of these tactics will work out for the bjp or not. we know that internet penetration in india is about 20%. there are many more battles to be won. >> it is debatable how much influence the media has on these elections compared to the previous ones. it's been reported more than a third are owned by politicians or business people. given the distrib bucs system, slightly more than 60% are owned by local politicians. the second is unfortunately in instances of paid media over the last few years. third is the emergency he knew /* -- the e american he knew he iss of social media is part of the narrative.
a the city of harki, ransacking, destroying broadcasting equipment and telling judgists they were quote, unquote fired. charter 79 reported the protesters went under their transmission tower. it wasn't a one-off. >> same day, armed men tried to reportedly enter donetsk's t.v. >> pro-russian protests in eastern ukraine, last month, the media regulator based in kiev ordered all cable providers to stop transmitting russian state controlled channels, some of which have portrayed it as a channel run by neo-nazis. an outspoken journalist has been murdered and according to reports, she i am politic indicated a local policeman just before she died on april 6th, two men entered the home of rubalita, just south of manila. she was a reporter with the tabloid
newspaper, remate and a host of a talk show. >> journalists are englishing the murder to her work. she often focused on corruption within the kavite police department. her final words included the name after policeman which her publisher said she had an argument. the philippines is ranked the second deadliest place in the world behind only iraq. the asia specialist bob dietz said until the perpetrateo of her murder and those of other journalists are brought to continue. >> appear journalit in venzuela has been reportedly kidnapped in the capitol. the chief correspondent for global vision. her father says she was taken by masked gunmen on april 6th outside her home. he has appealed to the kidnappers to release his daughter. pinto's global vision colleagues head a mass praying for her safe return and the channel's
executives urged people talking about the case over social media to do so responsibly to avoid further endangering her life. no motive has been established but kid 23457ings for ransom are common in the country. it's been a challenging time for venzuela's media workers. according to media rights groups, they have been harassed and detained by government security forces. south africans were riveted this week watching oscar pistorius trial. he has admitted to shooting his girlfriend last year but claims he miss take a look her for an intrude her h her. he is a global brand. before the trial began, t.v. stations went to court where they won the right to broadcast the bulk of the trial live. >> that's never happened before in south africa and the judge who made that ruling said the world needed to see that the country's legal system treats
the rich and famous the same way it does the poor and vulnerable. the defense has argued all of that media attention has jeopardize his chance of getting a fire trial. the "listening post," nick nurhead now on the case and the coverage. south africans are used to these images outside the courts, the media trying to get a shot of the accused before they disappear into the courtroom. in the case of oscar pistorius, the world's most famous para olympic athlete, that hasn't been entirely necessary. a landmark ruling has allowed the trial to be broadcast live, apart from when the evidence is deemed too graphic or when witnesses do not wish to appear on t.v., in which case they can be heard but not seen. >> we are as south african journalists had a particular responsibility to tell the story
on the oscar pistorius trial and to tell it well. for a long time, the judiciary was reluctant to grant permission to journalists to cover trials in this ways with cameras in court. >> i just feel like everyone is a scavenger, everyone is running off to the next big thing. it's become so desperate now. >> i have just been informed they are saying this -- showing this witness's face and there has been a court order that should not be allowed. >> the media has almost an extent forgotten the role they are supposed to play in this. >> i am warning the media, if you do not behave, you are not going to be treated with the soft gloves. >> instead, they are competing for attention. auscardar pistorius came to fame as "the bladerunner." he is a household name in south africa. r i have a steincamp was a celebrity.
there was already a lot of media attention around the couple. >> has made its way into the athlete's defense. his lawyer argued that the media's obsession with this indication means that pistorius won't get a fair trial and that broadcasting the proceedings live could lead to witnesses tayloring their evidence, which he implied in the cross examination of a state witness. >> what do you mean, you that? >> it's been on twitter. >> so you have been follow that part of the evidence? >> the verdict in this case will come from the presiding judge. south africa abolished jury trials 45 years ago. the concern in the apartheid era was that juries which were all white would be racially biased. a judge is supposed to be above all of that and in speculation in the media, immune. but analysts say pistorius's guilt was a foregone conclusion. now, that could mine the judge's
ruling if the verdict is notgil. we have seen this in our research after his bail application and the incidents, is itself, we saw he was portrayed worse than al-qaeda. >> i don't believe that the media has tried pistorius. i don't think it is within the ambi et of the media to do so. i think the story that pistorius has put forward is a story that some people find difficult to believe what was presented in the bail application in court. producers looked at the oscar pistorius officer for and saw an opportunity.
they launched a channel that will has broadcast. >> now that the public has been exposed to that, people should understand what the criminal justice system does mean and how well it actually works and as much as we are very quick to crist size the moment someone doesn't get put away behind bars, what we forget is they have a defense case. desperately. >> that comes across to create doubt amongst the judge and within the court. >> where the one -- we are the one channel that will can carry the entire trial unedited. all of the other channels have other responsibilities to cover other stories when they occur. our single focus is this trial. so we are doing a great deal of analyst cal work with it, and i think that that brings the audience a degree of understanding, that they possibly wouldn't get in our formats. >> but only a select audience, subscriptions costs of a channel are almost 300 grand a month, dollars. >> the channel that's dedicated
to oscar is the dftv, satellite provider. so we have, like, this elitist group of people who can access that. and the channel is very popular among them. but to use that ameasure for how the overall public is getting the information is not only fair, it's silly because they can't access that channel. >> one of the key talking points to emerge in the media during this trial has been the performance of the south african police service which has been slammed for failing to properly secure the crime scene. the same police force that is currently under investigation for opening fire in 2012 on a group of striking americana, killing 34 of them. however, the media attention given to police failings in the case of one killing, r i have a steincamp compared to the cover up of killing 34 people was summed
up by south africa's leading satirist. overshadowed. >> we have seen the issues of oscar prist pistorius and what's going on in addition to the strike of the mines, people don't know about that. it was flooding in some 69 prove i knew. people didn't know they were flooding unless you were driving through them. there is a majority portion here that are suffering, all losing out and we have ignored their plight and focused on one small, little issue that happens to be one person that's got a lot of fame and a lot of credibility in international media. >> i don't agree with that at all. i think, first of all, this trial has enormous public interest. what is important about having cameras in the court . it allows justice to be done. it's a constitutional impairtive that justice is seen to be done eritive that justice is seen to be done.
>> no one can question at a time for all to be seen as equal in the eyes of the law. when the media focuses on one case involving a famous athlete and his model girlfriend where in a country that 43 people are murdered every day, the vast majority of which go unreported, equality in the ides of the south african media is a long way off. >> more global village voices now on the coverage of the pistorius trial in pretty . >> we have had a 24 hour news channel screening the trial. very few south africans before the trial knew huge amounts about how courts worked, how the justice system worked. now all of that is changing. coupled, the justice system is in the spotlight and has to perform. >> in south africa, concern over the coverage of the oscar pistorius trial isn't so much that it is triv alliesing the
trial, itself but other issues are being made to 15 trivial. this is a country where 2,500 women are murdered by intimate partners each year. because as media we are focusing on a celebrity who shot his model girlfriend are losing an important opportunity with this trial to talk about the issue ent inter partner violence in south africa. >> the death toll could be much higher than anyone known. >> posing as a buyer... >> ...people ready then... >> mr. president >> who should answer for those people
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so many money stories sound complicated. but don't worry. i'm here to take the fear out of finance. every night on my show i break down the confusing financial speak and make it real. >> this is al jazeera america. i'm jonathan betts live in new york. we wering for a fight, ukraine threatens to push out militants in the east. the u.n. is meeting in the next hour. >> reports of more chemical attacks in syria. right now they are unconfirmed. >> a plea from the united nations to embrace wind power before it's too late. floundering mid east peace talks. the u.s. is pushing to get them back on track. it's the topic