British press magnate Lord Northcliffe once stated: “News is something someone wants suppressed. Everything else is just advertising”.
It’s interesting, then, that in a season of multi-billion dollar scandals that has seen India’s 24/7 news machine at its probing, questioning, investigative best, one — perhaps bigger and more serious than all the rest — has failed to make the hourly bulletins.
Taped conversations involving corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, anonymously leaked from a reported set of around 5,000 recordings made by India’s Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax authorities, appear to reveal the unholy nexus between India’s business leaders and the political policymaking machine.
But due to the embarrassing proximity that the Indian media elite have to the most controversial dialogues amongst her web of business, political and journalism sources, full-blown coverage has not been seen.
Save the outrage to the wall of silence seen on social networking website Twitter, only Open magazine, which first published the tapes last month and a handful of other publications have given column inches to the story.
However, the questioned journalistic ethics of NDTV’s Barkha Dutt and the Hindustan Times’ Vir Sanghvi that have dominated the minimal coverage and has led India’s media to circle the wagons are, in terms they are familiar with, details for the tenth paragraph.