A government appointed committee has suggested that the foreign direct investment i.e. FDI limit in the print media be raised to 49% from its present level of 26%.The information and broadcasting ministries committee headed by Information and Broadcasting director Asha Swarup had given recommendations to this extent. This panel would provide the roadmap and the government would take care of the policy initiatives to realize that.
This development is crucial because our country got more than 78,000 registered newspapers and the developments here in could have affect on all of them. If the said roadmap materializes into full-fledged FDI in Print media, that would mean many mergers and acquisitions of these native newspapers. As, otherwise these native newspapers may not be able to cope up with the ensuing competition and news content too.
This is a dangerous development in the light of the seasoned approach that these foreign news papers bring into the arena, which could drive away the local players, if they try to preserve their autonomy. It is already known that these foreign media are more driven by the corporate interests and try to ‘manufacture Consent’ amongst the masses of the country, in favour of their agendas. The said phrasing i.e. ‘Manufacturing Consent’ was used by the most popular Intellectual living today i.e. Noam Chomsky, in order to depict the nature of these ,media. They do try to generate consent for the mission set forth by their countries corporate and the political class, in every corner of the world they do enter.
This would be dangerous for our native culture and the self-sustenance in the economy too. It is already known that there are some countries in Latin America, which are called as the ‘Banana republics. These countries are called so because they have lost their sovereignty and became subservient to the U.S corporate interests. This is the kind of danger that awaits our country, given we allow for the FDI in the crucial idea moulding sector of the print media. Then those foreign media with all their research and skills in manipulating minds of their readers could open in the doors for another round of colonial mind control on us.