Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The good and the bad of it
Gone are the principles that a news item should consist of the plain truth or fact devoid of a biased perspective.
There's also the issue of delusional thinking on the part of media people that Rahul Gandhi reverting back to his clean-shaven look is newsworthy.
Well in any case I'm coming to that later.
What's relevant is now people are more aware of the world they live in. The advent of the internet(although a minority of the population have access to it)has made it possible for news to travel lightning fast.
Satellite images came directly into our television screens/desktops, mac-books, cell phones almost as soon as the Gaza flotilla ships were attacked by Israeli commandos. Horrifying as it is I still can't help be thankful to the media(plus the technology) for this.Atleast we know what's happening in another part of the world and are in a position to form an opinion about it. And it's a well-proven fact that a strong public opinion, if mobilized, can topple the most despotic of governments or get justice for the wronged. Who can forget the Jessica Lal or Priyadarshini Mattoo cases?
The point I'm trying to make is now-a-days the people at large are well-informed. Even if somebody doesn't have the time to read a newspaper in detail, there's always a news channel or the online editions of most papers which contain a shortened version of the articles. The news invariably reaches you one way or the other.And this would've been in no way possible without the pivotal role played by the media.
However it is to be observed that the quality of news has depreciated considerably alongside the spread of the media. Sometimes an international supermodel's mole gets more attention than an important political event in our country. Or the heated of exchange of tweets(yes,virtual words not real) between the Who's Who of Bollywood gets a place in the online edition of a major daily.
Yes all of us know that celebrity news sells faster than gutkha packets near a taxi-stand but since when did journalism become indistinguishable from business?
An equally perturbing fact would be the way terrorist attacks, bloody wars or devastating accidents get live coverage for days. The journos do not rest until the last remaining, if I may be so bold enough to say, 'juice' has been squeezed out of the incident. Without genuine sources confirming the statistics most channels make up their own number of casualties. With gory images of blood-spattered corpses, relatives of the dead howling in the background...it's like reality drama playing out before your eyes. And no need to mention we,the people,lap it up.Isn't a little discretion or subtlety in such matters desirable?
Now that the World Cup frenzy is in full swing I find most Indian news channels bringing in experts to analyze what kind of formation the Argentinian or Brazilian team will opt for in the upcoming match.(And I'm not even going into the detail that John Abraham of all people is explaining the intricacies of a match to us)
Uh hello there we are a soccer-crazed nation no doubt but shouldn't we be worrying about the fact that India has never played in the World Cup so far and has like zero probability of qualifying for one anytime soon? Shouldn't the media be highlighting the pitiable condition of the Indian national football team, the lack of sponsors and government involvement?
I could go on and on since this is a never-ending saga. But I'd like to hear your say in the matter as well.
What do you think of the media of today? Are they being responsible enough or is ethical journalism on the verge of extinction?
Image courtesy: Meera Sapra and http://www.toondoo.com/