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Foreign Correspondents Coverage of India

When reviewing coverage of India, in the mainstream press, Francois Gautier, a South Asia correspondent for Le Figaro (a leading French publication) identified three types of articles:

"Foreign journalists (and photographers) covering India are generally interested in three kinds of India:

a. The macabre and the negative: the widows of Benaras, the caste system as practised in Bihar, Mother Teresa’s place for the dying, kidney traffic in Tamil Nadu, the slums of Calcutta, bride burning, etc. These subjects have their own elements of truth. There does exist in India terrible slums, unacceptable exploitation of caste, dying people left unattended, and bride burning. But by harping only on these topics, the foreign press always presents a very negative image of India.

b. The folklore and the superfluous: Maharajas, of whom westerners are avid, are totally irrelevant to modern India, the palaces of Rajasthan, cherished by such magazines as Vogue which regularly sends their photographers and lanky models, who have no idea of India festival: Pushkar, the camel fair, kumbh-melas, dance performances in Khajuraho... all these have their own beauties, but they represent only a small part of our great and vast country.

c.The politically correct: There must be at least 300 foreign correspondents posted in Delhi, which should vouch for a variety of opinions. But if you give them a subject to write about - any subject - say Ayodhya, the RSS, fanatic Hindus, secularism, or Sonia Gandhi, you will get 298 articles which will say more or less the same thing, even if it is with different styles, different illustrations and various degrees of professionalism.

"Our Goal"

Our goal will be to expose the "macabre and negative" the "folklore and superfluous" and the "politically correct". We will also praise excellence in reporting and efforts to cover Indian Americans in the United States.



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