Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Society Crook

Sometime back I had mentioned a story on “The Media Watchdogs” in Society magazine’s September 2012 issue. I received another reminder to carry the brief write up on MediaCrooks that the magazine carried in the story. So here it is. The story is an exact reproduction except for names. As usual, quotes used in the article are in blue and some parts of the text have been highlighted by me. Where posts are referred to, those have been highlighted with their original links. The article remains exactly as in the magazine.

As a news watcher, I have, like many others, watched the consistent deterioration in the quality of news reporting, interpretation and subsequent debates and opinions” says..  creator of And since there is no specific organisation evaluating the Indian news media in any manner, he took on the onus. “The cash-for-votes incident of 2008, when a news channel deliberately suppressed information acted like a trigger”. The universally criticised reporting of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks was the last straw.. and the first post was written in February 2010. Since then his website has garnered nearly 500 followers by email and over 6,28,600 page views. Posting under ‘Ravinar’, an acronym of his name, he writes in a manner that is lucid, to the point and often sarcastic.
In one of his posts, ‘Rahul Gandhi-Sukanya Case: Amazing Media Silence’, Ravinar questions the under-reporting of the case by the mainstream media. In another, ‘Religious Secular Channels’, he notes that when news channels report on fraudulent godmen in controversies, the godmen in question almost always happen to be Hindu, while those of other religions get marginal coverage. In ‘CNN-IBN:The Greatest Indian Farce’, he points out the futilities and unfairness in comparison when CNN-IBN attempts to select the greatest Indian after Mahatma Gandhi.

Every couple of years Ravinar conducts a poll to rate who India’s worst journalists are. The polls have received a huge response and have attracted a lot of attention from readers as well as other bloggers. He terms the poll ‘a Razzies of sorts of the media’. He says, “News organisations conduct silly SMS polls almost every day and nobody knows who or how many voted. For instance, 10 people may have voted and eight may have said ‘Yes’. The channel would then proclaim: ’80 percent AGREE!This kind of foolish reporting is questionable. The media celebs pass judgement on anybody and everybody. This is my way of holding a mirror to them".

One of the beliefs he strongly he strongly proclaims on his website is that a corrupt media is the most dangerous threat to any democracy. In India, there is considerable freedom to print, which Ravinar feels, the media seldom makes use of. “In recent history, most scams were exposed either by the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) or journalists from smaller journals like The Pioneer. In one of my posts, I have called the media, ‘India’s Biggest Mafia’. You can find in the news media everything that you find in a regular mafia. Radiagate may only be the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “The rest of the story may unfold someday. There are still many great journalists who keep the good work going. But, you won’t easily find them in big media houses.”

He is of the opinion that ever since the media boom of the 90s, honest reporting has been the biggest victim in the pursuit of viewership, readership and profits. Through his blog, it is apparent that he considers a compromised media a greater threat to democracy than a government. “In not standing up for freedoms and in towing the government line on most issues, the news media is compromising not only their own freedom, but the very foundation of our democracy” he says, adding that it is difficult to differentiate between politicians and some journalists.


  1. Hmm. even I actually didn't/don't know your real name or that Ravinar is an acronym, nor did anyone really care I guess. That again showcases how people have been receptive to your ideas and writings rather than the 'who'. This is a healthy trend I think.

    Yet again the myth about anonymity and trustworthiness is busted. One would have thought that's one of the conclusions that Society could have drawn in this whole reporting on MediaCrooks. But they didn't.

    Its striking that our media guys often cite anonymity as the root of the problem with social media and as to why they are more trustworthy than SM writers (what a self-serving delusion!). The phrase 'anonymous trolls' is almost a cliche.

    What's often understated is that there are so many shameless liars who use their actual names, who don't disclose their agenda, affiliations or paymasters and are often on TV pontificating as a neutral expert!

    These guys should keep you busy for a while. So, keep on... friend.

  2. @MediaCrooks, One suggestion to add - Google +1 button on social share buttons you have on bottom of article. Google plays utmost important to post having more +1s in their search results. And needless to say how widely used search engine Google is.

    1. I second that.More and more people should be aware of Ravinar's work by word of mouth.Google +1,facebook,twitter buttons will increase the traffic and eventually have an impact on Google search engine.

  3. New media revolution in rising !!!

  4. If our Nation has any hopes of rising from the current mess then it'll be only becoz of fearless humans like you who goes about performing your duty undaunted :))

  5. Biggest bluff this crook Gandhi family is making is highly hilarious.
    Someone from Samajwadi party said that Akhilesh Yadav planned to file a rape case against Rahul Gandhi and this same Samajwadi party is still giving support to Congress lol.
    So that makes it all clear that Rahul Gandhi is indeed having some criminal record and to make his image look more cleaner this whole hoax was created to fool around the people believing it was conspiracy against Rahul Gandhi.

  6. keep it up dude

  7. I have stopped watching news channel for debates..I read Media Crooks ..Good job Ravinar

  8. Ravinar remaining a phantom does not diminish my perception of him as the slayer of crooks in media. In fact, the suspense in the slayer’s identity aids me to focus on the issue.

    But, with so much to gain just by playing pally to the powerful and the mighty, the fourth estate is now part of the real estate sold to the powerful bidder. And we the living have also reconciled to accept it as a way of life. In this back drop, do you hope to see the media liberated and the real heroes hailed? I don’t.

    Yet, I support your one ‘Man’ mission!

  9. Just saw Vir Singhivi on Sagarika's show on CNN IBN....wondering how low SG and CNN IBN can go. To my astonishment title for vir sanghavi was Senior Journalist and not mediacrook or RadiaGate Dalal.

  10. Our Media has again sidelined sting operation carried by AAJ Tak and made it a battle between Arvind and Khurshid....Why? Sites like Indian express don't even mention this sting operation, CNN IBN, NDTV don't put it as a Headline rather carries crap that this sting operation is not verified by them, lol such a incompetent channels that they can't verify sting operation against congress ministers.But when it comes to one way SMS or rantings by congress ministers like Dog vijay singh they play it 24x7. Indeed Media crooks.

  11. Like some one just said Ravinar, I cannot watch the news debates any more, just reading your tweets is enough for me. I wish more and more people get a hang of what these news channels are doing to the nation! Just read a blog about a Chattisgarh case of Soni Sorii, never saw that in the news (may be I missed it), but the ending is horrible and the news channels and papers, who are supposed to be the watchdogs, just watched. People never even get to know the news so many times, let alone the truth!

  12. Congratulations on the coverage, Sir!

    Is there any way we can donate to the work that you are doing, monetarily? Since this seems to be a one-man show, I hope your day job doesn't hold up its bright future. If enough contributions flow in from loyal, regular readers like me, perhaps this can then become a full-time job :-)

    I am willing to commit Rs 1000 every month to begin with. Kindly accept it as a token of my personal appreciation for the great work you are doing for this country.

    Also, you could perhaps think of having a Donate button on the website.

    You may email me on to take this forward.



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