Policy Briefs Books Journals

Policy Brief  No.172 - September, 2023 • By Debasish Roy Chowdhury

Policy Brief No.172: Follow the Money: The Economics of Media Capture in Backsliding Democracies

Image: Balamurugan veerabathiran/Shutterstock.com

This Policy Brief examines the relationship between the Indian government and India’s mainstream national-level media. When we think of the global epidemic of media capture, we usually think of intimidation and coercion by neo-authoritarians to gain control over the narrative. India shows how media can also be co-opted through financial inducements, and how institutional norms internal to the media industry are instrumental in this wilful capitulation rather than the fear of the demagogue. This highly evolved model of media control is far more effective in that it not only makes the media fall in line but turns it into an enthusiastic cheerleader of the government, as India’s once vibrant and now dismal media landscape shows.

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