Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that an emerging global player like India should have its own global media that could take on the international players like BBC and CNN and present the Indian viewpoint at the world stage. PM Modi shared this idea while speaking at the Ramnath Goenka Awards for Excellence in Journalism for work done in 2015 on Wednesday.
“Even today, people refer to BBC. Now, Al Jazeera has also become a big player. So, CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera. People in this field (journalism) should look at it as a challenge. We should have an Indian (media institution) of world-class quality. Because if we are a major player in the world, our every concern should get reflected effectively in the world. This should be our dream. I certainly feel that we must have influence in the world,” he said.
A global media organisation founded in India and run by Indians is something everyone in the country would be proud of. But no attempt has been made in that direction since independence even as the world population continue to be fed by the dominant narratives of a very few international players vis-a-vis matters of global concern.
Interestingly, PM Modi not only made a welcome suggestion but also echoed what famous journalist and former Times Now Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami has been dreaming for long. Goswami has not only been harbouring this vision of making India the global media capital but also sharing it and how he would go about it at several forums in the last two-three years.
Speaking as a panellist during the 10th anniversary of Russia Today (RT) on December 10 last year, Arnab Goswami had shared his vision of a global Indian media.
Here’s what he said:
“The hegemony of Western media has to end. Western media had it too good for too long and it has ruined the balance of power that’s required not just in politics and society but in media as well.
“In India, 90 per cent of Indians follow cross-border news. So Indians are most interested in the world. The least interested in the world are the Americans and the British as only 44-46 per cent people follow cross-border news. But US and the UK together contribute 74 per cent of the source of global news, when all of Asia contributes 3 per cent.
“Indian are the least insular people, most open-minded. Americans are the most insular people but they have complete dominance over the global narrative in terms of news.
“India will be the next media capital of the world. We have 90,000 publications, we have 13,761 registered newspapers in India. We have 404 news channels in India which run 24×7 and we don’t have one single global news network.
“There is a problem in the world in terms of balance. It is from countries like India which speaks English, which has democracy, where the challenge for the global news hegemony is about to come.
“Time has come to provide a serious counter to global media sources to BBC and CNN which has been hegemonistic for far too long.”
Watch Arnab Goswami takes on Western media and shares his vision for making India media capital of the world
About 11 months since the RT event, Arnab Goswami has resigned from Times Now and told his colleagues at the channel that the “game has just begun”. There have been reports that Arnab Goswami may launch new media channels – both digital and TV in partnership with businessman and BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Some reports also said that Arnab Goswami recently met international media baron Rupert Murdoch.
Watch PM Narendra Modi sharing his vision of a global Indian media
These all indicate that something big is cooking and it was just not coincidental that PM Narendra Modi also echoed Arnab Goswami’s vision.