One-Man Show: A study of 1,779 Republic TV debates reveals how the channel champions Narendra Modi – By Christophe Jaffrelot and Vihang Jumle
Ever the news itself, Republic TV recently hit the headlines after Arnab Goswami, its owner and star anchor, was arrested by the Maharashtra Police, in early November…. Goswami’s arrest sparked reactions from across the political spectrum. Among the more surprising reactions were public comments by many members of the Narendra Modi cabinet, who said that putting a journalist in jail was an attack on freedom of expression….
Whether or not one disagrees with this line of argument, the accusation of partisanship against Republic TV is undeniable. We studied all prime-time debates held since the channel was launched in May 2017, until April 2020, when we began the study—1,779 in all. Our conclusion was clear: Republic TV’s debates have been consistently biased in favour of the Modi government and its policies, as well as the ideology of the BJP.
What’s worse, these debates have rarely featured some of the most pressing issues that impact Indians, such as the state of the economy, education or health. Instead, they have consisted mostly of attacks against the Opposition as well as any groups or persons that oppose the ruling government’s ideology….