There’s a new association in town and it calls itself the “largest conglomeration of digital media platforms” in India. The Indian Digital Media Association is supposed to be a “pro-nation, Indian-owned, Indian-edited and Indian-controlled digital news association”.
It has been founded by the digital arms of the TV news channels Republic TV, India News, Odisha TV, News X; the newspaper Sunday Guardian; the Hindu nationalist website OpIndia; and the regional news websites Goa Chronicle, Desh Gujarat and Assam Live.
Laying out the rationale for the association, a published on Republic TV’s website rebukes foreign ownership of digital media in India. “We believe that it is time for Indian editors and owners to come together and fight the onslaught of foreign ownership and editorship since the attempts by foreign entities and organisations to corrupt news by pushing vested global agendas unethically are at its zenith,” it reads.
This position gives a glimpse into what a “non-corrupt” and “nationalist” digital media would look like – it would be Republic TV’s on whether dinosaurs were seen striding across Bengaluru; OpIndia’s on Hindus being sacrificed in mosques in Bihar; Goa Chronicle gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s “supari” for Arnab Goswami; and Sunday Guardian’s claiming that the Kathua rape case was a hoax.
The IDMA claims that 25 other members will soon join it and “engage with the government for policy formulation.”
With nine known members, IDMA is actually not the largest body claiming to represent digital media in India. There is the Digital News Publishers Association, which includes the Times Group, India Today group, Hindustan Times, NDTV, among others.
While the IDMA includes two obscure regional websites from Gujarat and Assam, the DNPA does not include any digital-only publication.
The media must be free and fair, uninfluenced by corporate or state interests. That's why you, the public, need to pay to keep news free. Support independent media by subscribing to Newslaundry today.