On this episode of The Listening Post: India’s lockdown has magnified two of the country’s most serious social ills: inequality and Islamophobia. Plus, what is it like to photograph the coronavirus pandemic? India’s lockdown: Narratives of inequality and Islamophobia India is now one month into the world’s biggest lockdown. Just hours before it was announced, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with media owners and editors and asked them to “serve as a link between the government and people” – in other words, to produce positive news stories. Simple request or tacit warning? The pandemic has also exacerbated a chronic condition in Indian news media – Islamophobia. Some outlets have even accused Muslims of creating and spreading the virus, a hateful narrative that not only plays right into the hands of Modi’s BJP government, but also leaves millions bereft of potentially lifesaving information. Contributors: Pragya Tiwari – Delhi-based writer Betwa Sharma – politics editor, HuffPost India Barkha Dutt – editor, Mojo Arfa Khanum Sherwani – senior editor, The Wire On our radar: Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Meenakshi Ravi about contact tracing – the hi-tech means of tracking the COVID-19 outbreak – and why European countries are struggling to implement it. Portrait of a pandemic: Capturing the spaces we call home Lockdown has changed everything – millions have been confined to their homes and public spaces have been left deserted. While journalists, like everyone else, have struggled to adapt to new and unprecedented working conditions, photojournalists have found opportunity amid the adversity. The Listening Post’s Flo Phillips talks to three photographers – each with a unique perspective on life under lockdown – and how it has changed the way we inhabit the spaces in which we live. Contributors: Marzio Toniolo – teacher and photographer Phil Penman – photographer Ravi Choudhary – photographer, Press Trust of India
Note: Our report on Indian media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic contained two errors that we have now corrected. We had said “half a billion” Indians live below the poverty line. The actual number is 270,000,000 – over a quarter of a billion. We had also said that India’s lockdown began seven weeks after the WHO announced the pandemic. In fact the lockdown was announced seven weeks after the WHO called the coronavirus a global public health crisis.
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