Mumbai International Film Festival 2012:
Brokering News : It’s time for media to look within
‘Brokering News’— is a film by Umesh Agarwal that examines three aspects of paid news — how politicians pay for positive coverage during elections, how coverage and movie reviews are orchestrated and paid news about business and industry. “Brokering News’ looks into the charges of paid news that sent shivers down the fourth pillar of democracy but it seldom becomes a headline as a large section of the media doesn’t seem eager to look within.”
“During Maharashtra Assembly elections when three rival newspapers carried the same article on on the former chief minister of the state under different bylines without caring to clarify that it was an advertorial, it was clear that something was wrong” says Umesh Agarwal. The film also questions the ownership of the media where many news channels are owned by political parties and political families.
Treaties struck between media houses and corporate empires are another aspect the film examines. The film goes beyond highlighting the issue of selling space on Page 3 to celebrities to question the increasing programming on gadgets and cars where criticism is the last thing on the mind of the anchor/ reviewer.
It depicts in detail how journalists are forced to broker deals to offer editorial coverage to politicians. The duration of the film is 52 minutes. The film is produced by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, New Delhi.
Umesh Agarwal is a national award winning film maker from Delhi, whose other notable films include Divided Colours of the Nation, Incurable India and Whistleblowers among others.