July 06, 2020
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Does No One Love Us?

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Does No One Love Us?
ARE we pro-Congress? Anti-BJP? Or do we simply hate everyone, except Sachin Tendulkar? Judging by the letters we receive at the Outlook office we are not too sure. Our recent cover story, Does India want an Italian Prime Minister? drew a strange volley of conflicting responses. One set of letter writers complained bitterly that we were as usual busy splashing on the whitewash for Sonia Gandhi and the Congress— forgetting that the Congress had some months ago burnt an issue of ours for distorting Sonia. The other set berated us for, finally, selling out to the BJP, simply because Vajpayee had given us an exhaustive interview.

In a way, in media, it's a sign of the times. Journalists and publications have become so politically polarised that readers have begun to expect bias not only in analysis but also in reportage. I wish I could dispel this suspicion by dismissing it all as bazaar gossip, but the truth is there are senior editors and commentators who not only skew news to favour a particular party, but also actually spend long hours in closed rooms strategising with politicians. No amount of elasticity in the term journalist can accommodate such active politicking.

As for us, we can't seem to please anyone. Even when our opinion poll ends up showing a split response— as with Sonia's acceptability as prime minister— everyone is upset.

We could either let it rattle us, or take pride in the fact that in offending political extremists, we must be doing something really right.

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