An Independent Press and Anti‐hunger Strategies
The Indian Experience
An independent press along with genuine opposition parties can deter governments from failing to intervene promptly in crises such as famine. Timely and relevant information, determined by the kind and degree of press independence and the prevailing political environment, can make a substantive difference to the way public opinion is shaped and official policy is made. Analysing the historical and present role of the Indian press, this chapter argues that although the press played a key role in making government takes steps to prevent famine, the persistent hunger has been a rather tame issue. There is also a tendency to dramatize the coverage when a crisis threatens, neglecting the deeper structural issues. A systematic interaction between journalism and specialized disciplines is required to strengthen the role of press regarding hunger and poverty.