Demonetization and Opinions of Indian Newspapers

By: Indroneil Bir Biswas  

Media is often abused by the dominant classes viz. government, and corporate houses to manufacture an agenda, which is in sync with their interests. A dominant class’s hegemonic longevity depends on its control over the apparatuses through which it indoctrinates its ideology in a society. In many instances, they control the narrative of a news story using their influence, money, and power. Media owners, editors, and journalists often become focal points of their respective competing class through their proximity to the elites. The present investigation is a case study on the demonetization of high-value currency notes in India during 2016 to examine the relationship between the print media, and political parties through a qualitative analysis of the editorials and op-eds published in two leading English language broadsheet dailies of India. The newspapers have been selected are 'The Pioneer', owned and edited by a former Parliamentarian of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, and 'Hindustan Times', which has a “reputation” of being pro-Indian National Congress(INC) – the principal opposition party. While 'The Pioneer' was supportive of the government’s point of view and confronted the opposition, majority of the commentaries published in 'Hindustan Times' were dismissive of demonetization, echoing the INC’s point of view. The investigation revealed that the newspapers’ respective opinions about the issue were in sync with the inferred political alignment of their publishers confirming that there has been a close, historic, and symbiotic relationship between the press, and the dominant classes.

Demonetization, Hegemony, Newspapers
Media Theory
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Indroneil Bir Biswas

Graduate Employee, School of Journalism & Communication, University of Oregon, United States
Oregon, United States

Indroneil Bir Biswas holds a MA Conflict, Security & Development from the University of Sussex (UK) and a BA (Honours) in Journalism from the University of Delhi. Prior to joining the University of Oregon, he was a full-time journalist in India. His research interests include political economy of media, media and conflict, international media scenario, uses and gratification, and television studies.