Hafta letters: Big Media, portrayal of Islam in media, farmers' protest

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

ByNL Team
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Hafta letters: Big Media, portrayal of Islam in media, farmers' protest
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Hi guys, I don't know if you'll read this or not in Hafta. But here it goes. I really feel I have a second family, which gathers around every week to discuss issues they care about. I was baited when you started giving free Haftas during Covid. Been happily hooked and subscribed since.

My wife also used to work for Big Media, and she told me real horror stories about how media works, how revenue dried they always are, how they are so underpaid that almost all of them pass away favours in exchange for goodies. Being an entrepreneur, I get how media exists in the balance sheets of big corporate houses; not as a negative balance but as a PR budget.

Also, I have been an EdTech teacher in physics and always looked up to Carl Sagan, Neil Tyson and so on, for science inspiration. I wonder why we don't have any good science speakers who inspire kids and get their say in the country's leading conversations.

Ashish Dogra

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Hi NL,

Please keep me anonymous. I am someone who's always updated with the news - it's my job, but even as a schoolgirl I loved reading the newspaper. Of late however, I'm finding it mentally taxing to read or watch anything that has to do with current affairs. So much so that I haven't listened to any of the last 9 or 10 Haftas. I've switched off from all forms of news (and I'm not talking about our usual suspects like Republic et al who I never used to watch anyway).

Every time I come across a piece of news, it seems like a repetition of something that just happened a few weeks ago, especially when it comes to India. I feel like I'm stuck in a loop.

It's perhaps an unanswerable question, but how do journalists stay out of having a complete mental breakdown? Would love to listen to how you all stay clear-headed amidst some very difficult times made worse by both the government and a divided society.

Yours,

Exhausted

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Hi guys,

For the past few weekends on NL podcast, our listeners and Mehraj pointed out that Islam as a religion is really good but through media or other outlets it is portrayed in a bad influence. I think no religion is bad or good. It is only based on the person who is interpreting their religion according to their own wisdom. We have people with right wing mentality in every religion whether in Christianity, Hinduism or Islam. My Hinduism could be different from the Newslaundry team’s believes in Hinduism, but that doesn't mean that my Hinduism is good or bad and same applies for Islam or Christianity.

Mohit

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Lots of love and keep doing great journalism NL team.

I would like to bring to your notice a trivia about my state, Andhra Pradesh. About a year ago, an activist filed an RTI with NITI Aayog after finding out about a report on how the central government should plan to develop Andhra Pradesh after the partition. However, when requested for a copy, they replied that only one hard copy was printed and sent to PMO, plus they don't have even a soft copy of that report left with them. He again filed an RTI at the PMO requesting for the copy and the reply from the PMO said, "This is a matter of national security and hence cannot be revealed.”

Thank you,

Avinash

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Dear NL team,

I am a law student. I have been following your work for around two years now. You allowed me a student subscription some months ago and I promised myself I'll use my first pay to subscribe to you. Happy to let you know that I got my first salary as a paralegal and fulfilled that promise today.

Daniel Kahneman wrote that our judgments are impacted by the ease with which we can recall information. If we don't know about the things that matter, they don't matter to us. So it is only natural for authoritarian governments to exercise excessive control on news that is being broadcast so that we can't think beyond SSR or Aryan Khan, about things like oxygen shortages or hit and run murders. So thank you for allowing me the space to think about real issues and form an independent judgment.

May legacy media attack you everyday and you emerge victorious every time.

Love,

Piyush

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Hi NL Team,

Listening to the discussion following the letter regarding the defense forces and the song dedication to Bapu, I’m sharing this article by C Douglas Lummis titled; The Smallest Army Imaginable: Gandhi's Constitutional Proposal for India and Japan's Peace Constitution, on how the state is inherently violent, and how Bapu imagined an alternative, a non-violent state. It also explores why it is that we are unable to even imagine zero military? It’s written by a former US marine stationed in Japan.

The podcast through which I came across this article, A New Republic by Sidin Vadukut, is also fascinating. Episodes 9 and 10 are on Gandhi's ideas on statehood and constitutionalism, and the Aundh experiment, where a small kingdom in Maharashtra ratified its own Gandhian constitution.

Great work, and wish you all the best in these trying times,

Vasudha

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Hi,

The farmer protests have been going on for months and still there is no pan-India spread of the protests that should have been happening by now. Have Godi media been able to build such a strong narrative or are there other reasons?

After reading the article on Hari Om, Ajay Mishra's driver, on Newslaundry, my thoughts were exactly what Manisha spoke of; how is it possible for him to run over people even in the heat of the moment? There must have been an order to do so.

Thanks for the good work,

Regards,

Vaibhav Vernekar

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Hi guys,

Love your work. The TV Newsance team deserves a raise cause come on man, just watching those news clips might affect their souls forever.

My one suggestion is if some of your video series like Newsance had subtitles, they might have bigger reach. But apart from that, you guys have been doing a brilliant job.

Cheers!

***

Hi,

I wanted the panel's opinion on if more federalism is a way forward, especially if we want the small border states to grow. I hail from Punjab and being a border state we have had no central investment in any industry. We have given so much to the nation but because we don't matter in the national election scenario we get no focus from the centre.

Central heavy control was good for the initial period after independence but we can see it is failing now.

Thanks for all the good work you guys are doing,

Akshay

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