Anand Giridharadas has a lengthy profile of Mukesh Ambani, the bossman of Reliance Industries, in Sunday’s New York Times.
As usual, there are a couple of paragraphs on the Ambanis’ messy relationship with the media.
“Critics say Reliance has been especially effective at managing the press. [Two] former Reliance executives, who requested anonymity for fear of angering Ambani, say the company has actively curried favour with journalists to help it track the progress of negative articles.
“A prominent Indian editor, formerly of The Times of India, who requested anonymity because of concerns about upsetting Ambani, says Reliance maintains good relationships with newspaper owners; editors, in turn, fear investigating it too closely.
“”I don’t think anyone else comes close to it,” the editor said of Reliance’s sway. “I don’t think anyone is able to work the system as they can.”
“And the net result is plain: although India’s raucous news media have brought down many a powerful person and institution, Ambani and Reliance are rarely the subjects of hard-hitting Indian reporting.
“Reliance disagrees, regarding itself as the target of relentless media attacks. “There is malicious and negative stuff being written all the time. So where is the influence?” the Reliance spokesman said. “Ambani has told me that he will never pick up the phone and talk to the owner of a publication to say, ‘Write positive stuff’ or, ‘Stop writing negative stuff’.”
Read the full profile: Indian to the core, and an oligarch
Link via Chetan Krishnaswamy