As the elections are approaching the BJP offensive at controlling the print and the electronic media in Rajasthan has taken off. Their efforts are as follows:
of existing media
This was blatantly carried out during Vajpayee's visit to Jaipur on the 10th of August, 2003 and during Vasundhara Raje's Parivartan yatra. One TV channel took of the news from its channel at prime time as the TV journalists had called the rally a flop show and had shown visuals of disruption of the rally by Social Justice front members. One newspapers changed the copy of its reporter as the latter had reported objectively on the rally stating that it was nothing much.
· complaining about correspondents when their copies do not suit them and also getting reporters off the rolls of the paper .
One reporter was removed from his job as he wrote objectively and critically and his stories went against BJP communal politics. Complaints were made against a couple of reporters who took the BJP and Vasundhara to task in their stories, their seniors received phone calls that the beat of the reporters should be changed.
· intervening at the top management and editorial levels resulting in harassment of the journalists as they are expected to give explanations to their editors/owners.
One TV channel reporter and one news paper reporter had to write long explanation for his story that showed the BJP in bad light.
up of a news agency and a local TV channel
According to sources the financial support to this news agency will come from the News Network of India's other projects. One of which consists of formulating media plans for public sector undertakings. This news agency is being promoted by the office of Mr. Pramod Mahajan and Vasundhara's press Secretary.
This new venture is apart from the many newspapers that they already control. The RSS already has another media group called the Vishwa Samvaad Kendra established in most districts of the state of Rajasthan.
· a news channel
( still exploring more information about this channel )
Infiltration in the Pink City Press Club
It has been observed by members of the press club that in the last few weeks a bunch of RSS and ABVP members have started visiting the club regularly with the agenda to gauge the mind of the press persons, gather information and plant stories. Some members of the press club have decided to increase the attendance of the secular people in the press club in order to counter this infiltration.
Apart from all this the pro BJP papers have raised the tenor in defense of the BJP ideology and its leaders.
Setting up of media watch groups with senior media persons
This has been set up at Delhi level to build a certain image of the BJP. Its role is monitoring and creating news that helps the BJP.
of Journalists Unions
of other parties including the Congress party
Basically the battle is being fought by secular, individual journalists on their own. Social groups are yet to get their act together and strategise effectively.