Can reforms stem the media rot intertwined with politics?

Prabhu Chawla moves on today after a long stint at India Today. Like Vir Sanghavi and Barkha Dutt, he was the face of his organisation and though his move may look like a normal career turn, it is clear that like Vir, he has been rapped on the knuckles for the negative publicity of his actions.
BV Rao, of Governance Now, makes a valid call to Dr Prannoy Roy for failing to act on Barkha Dutt. It is time more heads rolled while the media industry still has a chance to stem the rot with this wake-up call. That is the minimum need of the hour. Even Rajdeep Sardesai should be taken to task for his dubious stance especially when he was expected to be on his best foot forward as president of the Editors Guild of India. Unlike his father Dilip, he has been slipping up and that is a negative sign.
Sunil Khilnani is spot on when he says, “Certainly, to pursue and secure some high-profile convictions is important. But even that, while necessary, is not sufficient.”
The what and how is yet unclear to him.
There is a line of thought that lobbying should be made legal. But it sounds to the common man as if changing the architecture of the house depending on which side the wind is blowing. It seems the government would rather have lobbying legalised to reduce their headache and in fact add to their convenience rather than look at the reasons on why is the lobbying there in the first place.
Constitutional and political reforms is one answer. We need to seriously stem this era of coalition governments.
The government’s indecision while trying to pacify everyone allows for the lobbyist to sneak in on behalf of the industrialists who also have to pacify many greedy politicians not knowing who will be in the chair of authority the next day.
One option is also to look at the Presidential democracy setup. That may sound a bit too harsh or radical but after more than 60 years of independence, the world’s largest democracy is also its curse. That is a different debate altogether for another day. For now ending coalition politics in itself could be loosen a few ends.
We would not have had the 2G spectrum take the gigantic proportions that it did had the PM Manmohan Singh dealt with one of his own ministers rather than only ‘requesting’ A Raja to ‘consider’ on his objections.

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