Corporate takeover raises Indian media fears

New Delhi, India – Fears are growing that the independence of India’s media could be at risk as news outlets are swallowed up by corporate owners.

Concern has been stoked following the announcement by Reliance Industries, India’s largest company owned by the country’s richest man, that it has taken over the country’s biggest media group.

While analysts are reluctant to describe Reliance’s owner Mukesh Ambani as India’s Rupert Murdoch, they point to the threat posed to media integrity by the “corporatisation” of journalism in a country where diversity is crucial to democracy.

Abhinandan Sekhri, the co-owner of the website Newslaundry, which scrutinises the media, said prime-time debates on news channels help to shape government policies – and Reliance was perceived by many to be a key beneficiary of flawed governance in India.

“If they are taking over one of the important voices in the news space, it will certainly lead to alarm over independence of the news media,” he said…read it at Al Jazeera.

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