Muslim Media in India: Predicament and Promise
The Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM) in Bangalore is a premier institution for Media Studies in South India which is closely affiliated to Columbia University in the US. In 2004, as part of its research activities linked to Muslim Media in India, it interviewed the Executive Editor of Young Muslim Digest, Biju Abdul Qadir, and in which he spoke on a variety of topics ranging from the history of the magazine to modern trends in media and the Muslim community’s effort at coming to terms with new realities while yet standing firm in its Islamic tradition.
IIJNM: How did this publication start?
BAQ: The Young Muslim Digest first came out twenty six years ago amongst a few like-minded Muslim students who took upon themselves the task of creating an awareness of Islamic principles and values amongst the Muslim community, in particular, and amongst all communities in general. The first year in which the magazine was launched saw the Young Muslim Digest come out in a much smaller size than what it is today: both in the range of its contents as well as the overall appearance. It was really a very humble beginning; very much a noble, but small scale, endeavour of a few enthusiastic Muslim students from Bangalore.
IIJNM: What are the aims of the publication of Muslim newspapers/magazines? What are your aims specifically?
BAQ: To answer that question, and at the outset itself, I think one has to be very specific in the use of the word ‘Muslim’. This is important because there is a contemporaneous, cultural connotation associated with the term just as there is an ideal one. The cultural connotation, under which this term is more popular today, is one that encompasses everything that falls under what goes by the tendencies of a community, howsoever deviant those tendencies might be from the ideal, original precepts of the Islamic faith. This brings us to the ideal use of the term ‘Muslim’. Ideally, the Muslim is any person who has submitted himself, or herself, wholly to the belief in God and the adherence to His commands. A very important part of being an obedient Muslim is to explain Islam and to invite others to the understanding of the Islamic faith with whatever means that might be available for the purpose. Newspapers and Magazines, without doubt, fall under the category of these means of communicating the message of Islam as of anything else. Indeed, to neglect the use of this means of communication in today’s world is to be indifferent to the cause of creating an adequately aware world. What all this essentially means is that, ideally speaking, the aim of Muslim newspapers and magazines should be, first and foremost, to disseminate the message of Islam to the world at large. Doubtless, this will involve delving into the condition of the Muslim community as it exists, as such, in the world today. Thus, an important area in which the Muslim Media must concentrate is in bringing to light the condition of the Muslim people world-wide: in itself an area of the most daunting scope and challenge. For, few communities in the world today have been so misunderstood and persecuted as has been the case with the Muslims. Ironically, this has been so despite the fact that, in a historical context, even fewer communities have contributed to the elevation and ennobling of the human spirit as have the community created by the vision of Islam.
The aims of the Young Muslim Digest must be understood in the above-mentioned context. In its role as an Islamic publication, the magazine promotes the Islamic vision for the world, as free from inherent prejudices as from self-seeking hypocrisy. The Young Muslim Digest works for the cause of justice, awareness and understanding between the varied communities that people India, in particular, and the world, in general.
IIJNM: What has your experience been like in all these years that you have been operating? How has your readership changed/ grown?
BAQ: As I was saying earlier, the Young Muslim Digest has been operating since the past twenty-six years and that has been quite a long time for a publication, whether Muslim or otherwise. While I must say that at a personal level, I have been involved with this publication only since the August of 2002, a few general remarks will be in order.
The past decades, it must be admitted, has seen the dramatic rise of Islam and the plight of the Muslim community as focal points of discussion in the intellectual circles within even distant corners of the world. Such has been the tempo and pace of this debate that it would hardly be an exaggeration to state that today Islam has become the single most dominant theme in the collective consciousness of the intellectual, and political, elite around the globe. While such an awareness had been in the making since the beginnings of the twentieth century and maybe even earlier, there can be no doubt, whatsoever, that the level of that awareness has never been as acute as it is at the present moment. And each passing day reminds every honest observer that Islam has, indeed, come to stay in the consciousness of the world. There have been several obvious reasons for this presence. First amongst these reasons would be the inherent strength and consistency of the Islamic vision to withstand the tests of time and of human experience. Combined with these soundest of foundations, the remarkable ability of Islam to generate in the community of its believers the ennobling human qualities of fortitude and resilience in the face of the most severe of persecutions and exacting of tribulations has ensured that neither Islam nor the community (or even the culture) of its adherents will ever die out in the face of the greatest injustices perpetrated against them. And every injustice of this century ranging from the creation of the Zionist entity in Palestine in the 40s, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 80s to the rape of Bosnia Herzegovina in the 90s to name just three, and the responses that the Muslims put forth, have only sought to enforce, or entrench, the Islamic vision even more firmly within the moral consciousness of the world.
While the market for Muslim publications has never come to anywhere near what the market is for secular or other publications that cater to the baser tendencies of the population, it will, nevertheless, be conceded that with the awareness regarding Islam and the Muslim community touching a new high in a manner as has been highlighted above, the demand for such Islamic periodicals or newspapers amongst the better-read portion of the public has been increasing by the day. Interestingly, in the wake of the WTC attacks of September 11, 2001, it has been reported that the translation of the Holy Qur’an stayed on the top of the best sellers list in the US for quite some time. Even more interesting was the fact that, the remarkable phenomenon of mass conversions to Islam actually doubled in the US within months of the WTC attacks. What the WTC attacks did, in addition to causing the loss of innocent civilian lives, was to focus attention on Islam and the apparently incomprehensible behaviour of the Muslims in a way that was as dramatic as to have no equal to it in contemporary times. And when more and more of the Americans saw what Islam was really all about, they had no better choice than to accept a way of life that was as profound, all-encompassing and totally free of contradictions as it was equally susceptible to misunderstanding by the vast majority that is fed with what the explicitly biased western media had to offer them.
At the Young Muslim Digest, too, we have experienced over the years, this heightened feeling amongst our readers, in general, and the Muslims, in particular, in the increasing number of intellectually stimulating responses that we keep receiving from them. This has best been articulated in the quality of the letters that they have kept sending us and in the treatment of related subjects that many have attempted in articles, stories and poems that they send us for publication. To the common educated, concerned Muslim this has been an indicator of his, or her, struggle to come to grips with the reality of the predicament of the community into which each was born. The increasing number of annual subscribers to the Young Muslim Digest has eloquently testified to the truth of the above statements. To the educated non-Muslim his, or her, support for the magazine points to the wave of yearning to understand the Islamic vision that is now sweeping across the world.
Starting with a humble readership of less than a hundred, twenty six years ago, the magazine has grown with the tempo of awareness regarding Islam in the world when it is seen that today its readership stands in the tens of thousands: a readership population that resides both within India and abroad.
IIJNM: Which are the most pressing issues that you have covered? Which are the most pressing issues that you are covering at the moment?
BAQ: While it must be reiterated that the most pressing issue for us at the Young Muslim Digest, at any given period, is always the presentation of Islam in all the ways that it manifests itself, there are certain issues that do come up from time to time based in the main on prevalent trends and events elsewhere in the world and within India. In this way, therefore, we have covered certain critical subjects in the past. For instance, there has been the topic of education, or more precisely, scientific education that has been picked up for discussion in the Young Muslim Digest. Apart from the fact that education, or rather the lack of it, has been a prime hurdle in the advancement of Muslim communities in Asia and Africa, we have tried to point out the equally critical need to decompartmentalize knowledge: a task that is, by its very nature, Islamic. For, in the Islamic scheme there exists no division or compartmentalization of knowledge in its varied spheres. All knowledge, whether of the sciences, medicine, history, sociology, economics, astronomy, mathematics or the like has an innate and common denominator which is represented in the empirical, deductive proofs for the pattern of God in Nature and which, as a consequence, is related to the very existence and affirmation of the Divine force in the universe. As such, all study in the various disciplines must necessarily point to the existence of a single creative Force, a Prime Mover behind the incredible working of natural laws. This is out and out the Islamic approach to seeking knowledge and, in effect, to education itself. Towards this end of further elucidating the picture, we have had, in recent times, an interview with Dr. Husain Nagamia, a medical doctor who is also the Chairman of the US based international Institute of Islamic Medicine (IIIM), where we compared the difference in approach of the early pioneering Muslim physicians of the golden age of Islam and the Muslim physicians of today. It was evident that while the early doctors based their intimate knowledge of medicine on their personal quest for higher religious truth as postulated by Islam, the modern day Muslim doctors, had, in a general sense, no idea, whatsoever, as to how their professional calling was intrinsically connected to the profound methodology of Islamic thought. This, incidentally, has made all the difference. Thus, education that seeks to separate true religion from true science is an aberration that can only breed scientists given to the one-sided materialism of modern western civilization. On this we have insisted and on this premise have we promoted the alternative vision, the panacea for the future of education of the Muslims, in particular, and of all people, in general.
We have also sought to investigate the predicament of the Muslim community in India where it exists as a minority – in fact, the single largest minority – amongst a non-Muslim majority. In one instance, we have done this through an interesting interview with the Chairman of the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS), Dr. Manzoor Alam. The IOS, as you might be aware, is a Delhi based intellectual organization of Muslims that cater to policy studies for the Muslim community in India.
At the moment, however, and with quite obvious relevance, we are involved with the issues of American neo-imperialism that seems, to all practical purposes, to be setting the pattern in which a new world order is being beaten into shape. With the demise of the Soviet Union in the early 90s, the twenty first century seems to be more and more inclined to be a century of American domination as distasteful as this now obviously means for the future of the persecuted communities throughout the world. The case of the Afghan and the Iraq quagmires are prime examples as to hardly call for any further elaboration. The pathetic failure of the US administration in concealing its neo-imperialistic, crusading spirit as it wrenches apart thousands of innocent lives across the Muslim world is now glaringly open for the world to see, in case it hasn’t seen it earlier on. The festering cancer of the racist, Zionist entity imposed upon an innocent people in Palestine has been growing to alarming proportions ever since it was created and sustained under the patronage of the US and Great Britain behind the pretext of sheltering persecuted Jews who suffered under the fascist tendencies of a very European nation.
It is clear that unless and until there comes about a marked realignment of perspectives as regards international relations, the coming years should witness increased struggles by the people of the world, as against their corrupt governments, launched to counter the neo-imperialistic tendencies of the American government and its puppets where they exist on the global scene. It is high time to realize that the kid glove of Democracy has, indeed, fallen out to reveal the mailed fist of Empire that hides beneath.
IIJNM: Are you witnessing any consequential winds of change in the Muslim society? (In terms of the further ‘opening up’ of the Muslim society in India, and if yes, is this reflected in or, in any case, caused by the Muslim press?) Muslim press can bring about a decisive change in the way an average Indian Muslim thinks. (That being the traditional role of press in general). Have there been any efforts carried out by you to this effect?
BAQ: Well, the scene amongst the Muslims in India, in particular, and the world in general, is definitely not what it was like say, twenty five years ago. Much has changed since then, and, more importantly, the world has become a much smaller place owing mainly to the revolutionary transformation of the communications sector. This is true at least for the middle, upper-class segments of the Muslim population who are relatively well-off, economically speaking. Today, there are so many avenues for communication that people are exposed to ideas and news in a way that is unprecedented in the history of the world. With this information explosion there is, doubtless, the challenge and the opportunity. Challenge, because objectively sifting through the piles of information that comes in through the internet, books, newspapers and the television not to mention the satellite relays is, indeed, a monumental undertaking at the very outset of which one is daunted and confused by the sheer magnitude of the task. And opportunity, because it presents us with a chance to keep ourselves better informed and, thus, better committed to the cause of improving the lot of humanity that surrounds us, incidentally, the elite and better-privileged. Granted these basic premises, it must be said that several, if not all, sections of the Muslim community both within and outside India have made use of these tools of comunication to a greater or lesser extent. And to the extent that they have learned to use it professionally and effectively, they have articulated their position substantially well in the areas where they reside. In so doing, they have, indeed, opened themselves to the world around them. However, where they have truly stayed firm to the principles of Islam, they have gone even further in opening up when they tell the world that ‘we are open to eternal values like love for truth, justice, education, and freedom from oppression for all communities but we are not open to falsehood, injustice, licentiousness, vulgarity and dishonesty exhibited by any community.’ This mature attitude of a significantly large number of Muslims today has been reflected in and, to a larger or lesser extent, created by the Islamic media that has come up in the country since the years of Independence from British rule. Most of these publications serve as organs to major Muslim organizations that have been formed as a response to the Islamic awareness spreading across the country and the world.
The role of the press, or the media, as an agent of positive change will not be doubted by any who care to reflect in the slightest measure on the working of world opinion. The importance of the press in the formation of public opinion cannot be over-emphasized and as such, the Muslims, with their mission of improving the world around them, can ill-afford to be indifferent towards such a pressing obligation. As has been highlighted earlier, the Young Muslim Digest, as a vehicle of genuine Islamic thought, is no stranger to this responsibility. It has played, and continues to play its role in the improvement of the Muslim community, in particular, and other communities, in general, by actively and consistently disseminating correct information regarding Islam and of the plight of its community of believers. The magazine has done this in two important ways:
1. By explaining the original tenets of the Islamic faith by recourse to the most authentic of sources – the Qur’an and the practices/ statements of Muhammad, the last prophet of Islam, and
2. By offering commentaries on world events as and when they happen – events that are almost unfailingly related to Islam and its believers and as such begs for a proper interpretation and explanation.
There is also a regular column in the magazine where the specific doubts of the readers are addressed and answers given by an authority in the field of Islamic guidance. To say the least, the response to these efforts at moulding public opinion has been overwhelming.
IIJNM: What, according to you, are the major roadblocks for the modernization within the Muslim community?
BAQ: Well, again I think it is essential to specify what exactly one means by ‘modernization.’ If by ‘modernization,’ we refer to the process of westernization which is singularly committed to the enforcement of the standards and norms of the western cultural and societal ethos on that of the native population of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, then I daresay that we are in no need of such ‘modernization’ for, the fruits of western culture as it manifests itself in the sexual promiscuity and breakdown of the family structure – the basic building block of the society – is anathema, indeed, fatal to all the greatest aspirations of the Islamic vision for the betterment of humanity. Modernization in that sense and as brought about by the western media apparatus will not be accepted in a Muslim society worth the name. But modernization, in the sense of a process that keeps open the intellect to the possibilities that life and experience has to offer for the advancement of the human condition, is something, which Muslims, before all other people, must whole-heartedly welcome. For, modernization in that sense – as an attitude of mind that is open to the benefits of technological progress in understanding the world around us and in properly utilizing the plentiful bounty of nature that exists in favour of man playing his part as the vicegerent of God on earth to perfection – has always existed in accord with the most sublime calling of the Islamic faith.
However, modernization, in this constructive sense, calls for certain pre-requisites. These pre-requisites include sufficient education and an awareness of what is intrinsically good for the wholesome well-being of the human individual and society. This brings us to the question of economic well-being of a community without which no higher education is actually possible and without better education a proper means of livelihood itself pales into a distant possibility in this age of super-specialization. So, as we can see, the circle is a vicious one, indeed. However, it is not a completely closed one. Modernization, in the constructive sense, for the Muslims depends, then, on the extent to which it is possible for them to rid themselves of the grinding economic poverty with which the majority of their lives have become punctuated. It is only with the elimination of economic want that any attempt at quality education can be made. Needless to say, before any of these considerations can even be proposed, the Muslim community, as a whole, must, in itself, be possessed of that zeal to overcome their predicament and to rise, like the legendary Phoenix, out of the ashes to which it has been reduced by the cruel twist of its destiny: a destiny for which the Muslims themselves, at least in part, have provided the cause and the effect. The Muslims must learn to seek inspiration from the heritage of a glorious past wherein for five centuries, they led the world out of its darkness and gloom and set it on the path of a genuine modernization programme by stubbornly insisting that the scientific spirit was never antithetical to true religious dispensation. In fact, according to the early Muslim scientists of the eighth to the thirteenth centuries of the Christian era, science supported and verified the facts postulated by true religion: an attitude that gave rise to some of the greatest pioneers of modern science – pioneers who were, at once, brilliant scientists and devout Muslims who saw in the separation of scientific enquiry from religious faith a fatal blow to the very foundations of Islam.
The removal of economic want is a task that must have the whole-hearted support of the financially better off sections of the Muslim community. Indeed, the removal of this social evil is a prime Islamic obligation upon the more affluent among the Muslim community. Islamic instruments of fiscal policy like Zakat, which is the right of the poor in the wealth of the richer sections are still seen as potent tools for the alleviation of this unjust distribution of wealth. Indeed, considering the fact that in Islamic Economics, Zakat remains the welfare tax that is appropriated from the rich amongst the Muslims as the right of the poor amongst the Muslims and the non-Muslims, the possibilities that this Islamic injunction offers for the cause of a just distribution of wealth for the nation as a whole is, to say the least, quite revolutionary.
IIJNM: What about the Muslim youth? How are they different from their predecessors (in terms of their attitudes towards education, occupations, religions etc)? What are their ambitions in general and expectations from the society and government?
BAQ: Again, the level of response from the Muslim youth of today has been varied and, of course, distinct from those of their predecessors. In an age wherein Western cultural mannerisms and norms are invading the fabric of Asian societies that comprise both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities, it is only to be expected that these values will be accepted sooner or later by the youth of these Asian societies as the model for the future.
Unfortunately, however, the ‘Muslim’ youth, in general, have been no exception to this trend. With the invasion of the powerful western media that seeks to impose, with the blinding glare of Western technological progress, values and norms totally alien to the spirit of true civilization, the Asian youth have more or less come to accept the vulgarity and crass materialism of the western world as essential steps towards their ‘modernization.’
The thinking of today’s youth as represented in their love for the fast life where education and occupation are but the means towards a life of ever-increasing and unbridled material luxury is quite symptomatic of the malaise confronting the future of the world. It is in this context that the vision of Islam, as opposed to the purely material aspect of living as it is supportive of an approach that balances and tempers man’s material requirements with the sobriety of a realistic spiritual orientation, comes into sharp focus.
The relevance of such a balanced vision can hardly be overstated in these morally decadent times. The importance of the Islamic resurgence in such a context assumes added poignancy in the face of the fact that it is as a part and parcel of just such a resurgence that the Islamic Media was born. It is a forgone conclusion, however, that under the influence of this remarkable resurgence, the Muslim youth in many countries have managed to see the danger that the Western cultural invasion represents. And in so realizing their folly, many young Muslims have now sought to channel their youthful energies towards the cause of improving their lives with commitment and efficiency by becoming votaries for the Islamic worldview: a worldview that is, at once, elevating and progressive in the best sense of the term. Muslim youth possessed of such an Islamic orientation seek, naturally, for an end to exploitation in society in all its manifestations and they seek education not merely for the material benefits that it might offer, but also because education would be the first step in understanding the world in which they live. They seek this understanding to be in a better position to rectify the ills of society to the greatest extent that it is possible for them to do so. And in their efforts for transforming society into a more caring one, these youth expect nothing short of complete co-operation from the government. With their sense of high idealism, and given the state of affairs in most countries today, these well-meaning youth can be quickly disheartened and embittered owing to the lack-luster quality of response that they receive from the society and the world at large. Nevertheless, granted the experience and the time, these youth must necessarily form the vanguard in the creation of a better world: a world as free of oppression, vice and vulgarity as it is committed to the real benefits of technological progress to the extent that it is humanly possible to achieve this potent, essentially Islamic, combination.
IIJNM: What are the biggest grievances of the Muslim community in India? How are you dealing with it? How is the government dealing with it? Which government do you think has been the ‘best friend’ of Muslims? Which one has been the worse?
BAQ: The Muslim community in India has not gone without its own share of grievances. The communalization of Indian politics as seen in recent years since the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in 1992, has brought these grievances out into the open as in no other time in the past. Indeed, the post Babri Masjid decade has exposed the vulnerability of the Muslim community which has found its fullest expression in the Gujarat massacre of 2002. While several commissions of enquiry were set up to probe into the anti-Muslim riots that have erupted from time to time, chief amongst which would be the Bombay riots of 1992-93 and the Gujarat incidents of 2002, little, by way of concrete action, has been initiated to seek legal procedures in keeping with the findings of these commissions. This has only exacerbated the situation and has led to embitterment of the community and the loss of its confidence in the government. The government’s expressions of regret and half-hearted judicial procedures cannot be substituted for solid confidence building measures.
The possible infringement on Muslim personal law as depicted in the Common Civil Code proposals that keep coming up from time to time, too, does not sit well with the Muslim community in India. Islamic law is, in its fullness, the very epitome of a complete juridical system in its own right. Nevertheless, and in the conditions of existing as a minority, Muslims have relegated themselves to the observance of simple issues of personal law in the countries where they live as minorities. As such, to implement the Common Civil Code as a uniform law for all communities in the country would be, besides creating other practical difficulties, taking away from the Muslim community what compromised little that was allowed to it in the matter of following the total divine legislation that was originally prescribed for it. Successive governments that have come up in the country have fortunately realized this predicament and have studiously abstained from implementing the proposed Common Civil Code.
While Muslims have felt themselves unjustly treated at the hands of almost all the major governments that have held the reigns of administration in the country, it would be politically naive to name this or that government as being the best disposed or the worst disposed to the plight of the Muslims. What would be more pragmatic, on the other hand, would be to delineate the yardstick by which Muslim feeling for or against any government might be judged. And in this defining of the yardstick, the granting of civil liberties, rights and freedom to minorities as enshrined in the constitution of the country will, doubtless, form an important component: a vital starting point conformance to which alone can ensure confidence in the government from the side of the single largest minority in the country.
IIJNM: How would you rate the collective scene of the free Islamic Media in India? How would you rate their performance and their impact? What do you think needs to be done in order to extend the reach and the influence or improve the performance of this kind of media? What are the limitations of Islamic media in India, or what complaints do you have, if any, about its performance? What future do you foresee for the free Islamic Media in India?
BAQ: The collective scene as represented by the free Islamic Media in India may be seen as one that still gives hope to the long cherished value of freedom of expression in the best democratic tradition. Catering to the direct media needs of almost fifteen crore of the Indian populace, the Muslim Media effort is not something that may easily be ignored. And given the growth of the debate on Islam both within and outside India, the Muslim Media in India has a relevance that is unique in itself. Indeed, other media organizations of a non-Muslim nature, too, cannot avoid its presence owing to the simple fact that these other Media centers also have to attend, time and again, to the media coverages that are essentially related to Islam and the Muslims. In fact, most world events these days are, in one way or the other, connected to the Islamic factor.
The need and relevance of a proper media for impartially dealing with Islam-related issues have never been greater. The efforts by intellectual Muslim elite themselves, notwithstanding, there is always infinitely greater space for accommodating more of such ventures from the Muslims. While the impact of the Muslim Media in India as it exists today has been considerable (as mentioned above), a point of saturation cannot be imagined as of this time when there is a sustained demand for as many readings of current issues as possible. Definitely, some efforts at opening a genuine Islamic Media outlet with all the hallmarks of a professional publishing corporation, like the effort of the Jamaat-e-Islami with the Madhyamam daily in Kerala, have been moving success stories of the first order. In contributing to the alternative media effort, the Jamaat-e-Islami in Kerala has succeeded, among other things, in consistently operating a daily newspaper that has come to be respected today as a genuine forum for public discussion not just within the Muslim community of Kerala, but also among the native non-Muslim intellectual community as well. In many ways, this daily has come to represent the closest thing to the ideal, which the Muslim intellectuals of India have been nurturing in the field of path-breaking, society-transforming journalism backed by the Islamic spirit of justice and fair play.
Success stories amongst the Islamic Media outlets such as that of the Jamaat-e-Islami in Kerala, have proved the receptivity of the reading public to ideas of objectivity and honest journalism. But then, Kerala is incidentally also ranked as the most literate (100%) state in India. As such, it would seem that the success of objective, impartial journalism that works for the truth comes about only in places where the population is sufficiently educated and enlightened. Indeed, to say that mere education will suffice to render Islamic Media efforts popular is to give free rein to naive optimism. For, education without enlightenment is akin to the blind holding aloft the torch to see in the darkness. It is only on the premise of confidence in eternal human morals and goodwill, which does not look at vulgarity and exploitation as permissibles in society, that such enlightenment may be possible.
Quite apart from these genuine considerations, the Islamic Media organizations must learn to imbibe professionalism as a way of life: a quality that is in accord with the highest aspirations of the Islamic calling. For, in an extremely competitive market that thrives on easily exploited baser human tendencies for profit-making, unrestricted in the use of pornography and senseless violence, the Islamic media must necessarily struggle to make its mark on the public psyche with its, perhaps, unpopular but critically relevant, call to eternal and noble values enshrined in the collective consciousness of the human race. Without that sense of professionalism and aggressive, zealous marketing for which the ends and means must be justified, there can be little hope for efficiency in Muslim media efforts that must, in the main, be reflected in the success, even if relative, in achieving its stated objectives: objectives that are more in line with honest, effective reporting than with blind, unethical money-making.