Hate speech presents a major challenge to ethical and neutral journalism. In India we have seen a rise in majoritarian hate and decline of ethical journalism specially in TV channels. Certain media outlets have become purveyors of hate speech, cheerleaders of hate, xenophobic religious extremism. Hate speech on these channels tend to use the disguise of freedom of expression to wage a psychological war against Indian public. By that regularly using pejorative, discriminatory language and attacking an identifiable group — a race, religious community, or sexual minority, for example — certain media channels in India have prompted harm to Indian minorities, especially Muslim minorities.
This year itself we have seen how members of Tabligi Jamat were made a scapegoat, and a whole religion-based community was vilified and dehumanized by the Indian media. We have also noticed how witch-hunting of women and media trials by news-channel have made a mockery of the justice system. It is a sad state of affair when despite Indian Judiciaries reprimand to certain media channels over criminalizing and dehumanizing people and communities, none of the channels have issued a public apology or visibly corrected its course of action.
In light of the growing insensitivity of certain TV channels and their influence on our society at large, we believe Indian media is causing deep social divisions and hurting the unity and integrity of the nation. We strongly believe that hate should never be made profitable and we urge advertisers to take conscious steps in demonetising hateful media making it less and less profitable with each progressive step.
Over the past months we have worked closely with Stop Funding Hate and several others to defund hate on social and traditional media. We will be applying the campaign model of SFH and Sleeping giants in India. Through our campaigns we are urging Indian and non-Indian advertisers to #stopfundinghate and adopt a conscious pathway to advertisement. Let us stand for ethical journalism, conscious advertisement, and a hate free society!
For media queries on campaign, Conscious Advertisement Network, or to know our opinion, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org