Samachar Manyata Association for Research and Training (SMaRT), a platform for nationalistic and dharmic digital media outlets, launched its website on June 5. Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Rajya Sabha MP and the President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations, launched the website in a virtual event. SMaRT has been set up to break the monopoly of the left-liberals over the narrative in Indian media.
A statement issued by SMaRT said, “One of the biggest tragedies of independent India has been monopolisation of the narrative space by subscribers of one political ideology – starting from left of the Centre all the way to the extreme – communism and Marxism. While academia can be credited with providing the intellectual heft and popular media such as movies for subtly pushing the agenda, it is the news media which has been most influential for the simple reason that it reached more people than academics did (via radio, papers and finally tv) and was taken seriously unlike popular media.”
It adds that this narrative monopoly was broken in the last decade as social media emerged as a viable alternative to the mainstream media, which exposed the major names in the mainstream media what they are- shallow, partisan elites with disdain for India’s majority, their culture and their values.
It says that the people who challenged this old media are ordinary citizens with zero political access, graduated fresh from middle classes, holding the civilisational ethos of this land in high regard and nationalistic to a fault. One couldn’t have hoped for a more suited group of individuals to challenge the ‘manipulated media’, SMaRT said.
On various platforms such as news portals, social media, YouTube etc, such nationalistic people are making a disunited attempts to challenge the narratives set by the left-liberal media. As a result, even though well intentioned and highly motivated, they have not been able to achieve the desired result as they suffer from lack of a support system that the other side is well-armed with.
SMaRT is an initiative to fill this gap. SMaRT is not an industry association, and it does not attempt to influence editorial policies of any of its members. SMaRT aims to nurture and support its members through various initiatives that can help improve the quality of their content, widen its reach and help them achieve financial sustainability. These support initiatives include research grants, translation services, legal support, multimedia facilities for generating high quality content, start-up funding, advertisement support and more.
SMaRT was launched on 25th October, 2020, and within these 7 months, it has reached a key milestone of 60 members, with a combined reach of 80 million+ hits/views/impressions every month. SMaRT says it looks forward to encourage more nationalist and dharmic media members to join this initiative to amplify its voice to a much wider audience through this synergistic alliance.
“Monopolies are bad. They lead to lethargy, incompetence, inefficiency and ultimately bankruptcy. That’s what has happened in India’s media space as well. It’s time to change that”, the SMaRT press release added.