Sunday, April 24, 2011

Media hyperbole and Bengal assembly elections

If we go through the standard news reports, analysis, editorials and opinion pieces been published daily in the national and local mainstream media concerning the ongoing assembly elections of Bengal, there can be little doubt in our minds about whom the voters would prefer to see in the next government. According to the obvious trends and predictions reflecting in the media, the people of Bengal have already “decided” to reject the worn out Left Front and embrace the impressive Trinamool Congress (TMC)-Indian National Congress (INC) opposition alliance. Experienced pollsters have concluded that in all probability, this grand alliance under the sagacious leadership of our famed railways minister Mamata Banerjee is heading for a clean sweep. Passionate supporters of the Left might still go on arguing that a sheer anti-Left bias in the print and television coverage during any election campaign is nothing new in Bengal. The spectrum of debate that gets released on various media forums during the election season has seldom been objective. They are also trying to point out that for a long time independent media organizations in the state have been completely polarized along political lines. But not many people are listening to them. The coming Bengal election results are therefore, as one thin on top editor recently wrote, “the easiest to predict in our electoral history in a very long time.”