Arnab Goswami, the co-founder of Republic TV, has a celebrity status in India. Although a controversial person, he is known for bringing disruption into Indian news media. He has got a long list of fans & critics for his work in the news landscape. Recently, he gave an interesting interview to ANI (Asian News International). In this interview, he talked about his personal life, his accidental entry into journalism, and why he brought changes into the news space.
I found the last 40 minutes of this interview particularly interesting where he highlighted his study days in the UK (United Kingdom). He specifically mentioned the role of BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) in magnifying the image & geographical scope of the UK. The soft power advantage could be easily felt on the ground, he explained. He feels that the media in India has not built any such global news channel which can project the soft power of India across the world. Arnab is thinking to start one such channel in the future to fill this gap.
The timing of this conversation is very important. Lately, several western media outlets & their Indian subsidiaries are busy building a kind of anti-India narrative. They are deliberately presenting a negative image of India when there are a lot of good things to showcase for. With every 6the person on the planet being an Indian, it is important that India should be able to express its own views beyond the lenses of only a few major media outlets. The current conflict in Ukraine is the best example of it. India has been accused of taking the Russian side despite exercising choices suitable to India’s interests. Western media painted India as a villain for buying Russian oil but totally hid their own huge oil purchases from Russia. Very quietly they hid their other trade transactions in natural gas, fertilizer, coal, and aluminum with Russia. They often twisted the words, and present them in a way to support their own narrative often against India’s position.
I believe that we live in an information age. With India pursuing an independent foreign policy also requires an independent information portal. Such an information portal should be able to present Indian views on geopolitical events. So far, India lacks such a big news outlet on the lines of BBC to serve a global audience. That’s what Arnab pointed out. He thinks over the years, BBC has played a huge role in projecting the soft power of the UK across the globe. Funded by the UK government, BBC has inspired many other state-funded media outlets like Russia Today, Al Jazeera, CGTN, and France 24 to project & present individual nation’s narratives.
He discussed his idea of creating such a channel in the future focusing on presenting the Indian view to the world. Challenges like funding and leadership will be there but I am hopeful that such a conversation will inspire others to take notice of it. And soon we will see a bunch of such outlets presenting views from India to a global audience.
Listen to the whole conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rwylMR4ecc
(This blog post reflects my personal view points)