A Drought of Reporting

Dhanmanjiri Sathe writes that coverage of important issues like droughts and natural calamities is often very different in English-language and local-language newspapers in India.

He examines an earlier episode of drought in the state of Maharashtra, specifically that which occurred in 2012–13, one of the worst (till then) droughts in the post-Independence history of the state. He considers the manner in which the drought was covered by the Pune editions of one English and one Marathi newspaper—both serious publications belonging to the same publishing house.

He finds that in the Marathi newspaper (MN) the first page carried news of the drought 42 times, while the English newspaper (EN) carried it only four times. Further, the MN carried an editorial plus an op-ed on the issue of drought 21 times, while the EN carried the same only once. Clearly, the EN was more devoted to national issues.

Read the full article in Economic and Political Weekly and a related article in Indian Express

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