Internet InfoMedia indias cable news predicted a big modi win how did they get it so wrong
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slim election victory has forced India to reflect on how fawning coverage may have obscured a wave of opposition.

Through the months of India’s sprawling national election season, the country’s hundreds of cable news outlets all seemed to be trying to outdo each other: They predicted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would win, and win big.

The actual election results on June 4, however, saw his fortunes plummet so low that he secured another term only with the help of coalition partners.

It was a shocking result to many, and now India finds itself wondering why so few foresaw the popularity of an opposition movement. Some outlets had predicted that Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, or B.J.P., would win as many as 400 of the 543 available seats in Parliament, but in the end, it won only 240.

Many see the disparity as a sign of how thoroughly the prime minister had cowed the mainstream media, and how his control of the information system had grown so complete that the hype obscured voters’ true sentiments.

During Mr. Modi’s decade in office, a mix of pressures and incentives turned mainstream news channels into cheerleaders of his every move. They presented the powerful prime minister as an unstoppable leader, too overwhelming for any opponent to challenge. Debating him on policy, or even on his delivery of his promises, was out of the question.

Many reporters at established news outlets embraced what Mr. Modi had normalized: taking pride in his Hindu-first vision of India. Those who investigated the unsavory side of his tenure, including independent bodies that sharply critiqued his policies, were ostracized, raided or otherwise forced to surrender.

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