Vanita Kohli-Khandekar is a journalist and author, whose book, The Indian Media Business: Pandemic and After, was released in October this year.
In this interview with Chitranshu Tewari, Vanita explains the relationship between how broadcast media makes media and what the audience gets to see, the business economics of ad-funded media, and the lack of government foresight in seeing media as an industry.
“You cannot have ad-funded, good-quality news for now because it’s determined by large numbers,” she says. “These large numbers come to companies that throw billions at AI and tech to get the scale. It then becomes a vicious cycle.”
She also emphasises the need for not-for-profit journalism, saying it can “change the shape of the news game, because news is a very expensive business to be in”.
The conversation spans the ethical route chosen by the Indian media after neoliberalization, how social media algorithms dictate voting choices, and much more.