Sunday, January 22, 2006

Whose truth should I purchase?
“let the truth prevail”, “khabar vohi jo sach dikhae”, “sabse tez”, “feel the news”, “ whatever it takes”. Loud enough! Aren’t they all? I yearn for those good old Doordarshan days, when it was just good Hindi, or even English for that sake, that made me interested in the evening news. Sensationalism was too big a word for a, 10 year old to understand. But, these days whenever I tune into, any news channel, I can’t stop thinking about one particular aspect of this, progressive trend. I would like to put down few incidents, and then continue, with my pondering references.
1. Some foolish old man, who claims he is a “jyotishi”, in some remote, rural, underdeveloped ghetto, pronounces that he will die, soon enough that, most of the television channels will reach there. Ultimately, he missed the pronounced “tryst with his destiny” and fails the test of time. He survives, leaving back, a question over credibility of news channels these days! I was shaken when; I learnt that even Prannoy Roy’s “NDTV” was there. (Where are you Mr. Prannoy Roy of yore)
2. Manjunath Shanmugham’s Murder goes almost unheard, when The Big B was going through, a normal, bowel ailment. Hours of air time went into this useless issue, but the whistleblower’s death, took ages to reach our PM’s ears.
3. People’s private lives become the most plentiful raw material, for the channels to reap benefit out of. Just today I saw, a woman being grilled, for allegedly beating up her step daughter brutally. There have been plenty of such showings. Masters of this art, channel 7, aaj tak, India tv!
4. What with “sting operations” becoming the order of the day. I don’t know whether shakti kapoor was all that guilty, but I mean this is not journalism. Its just, “shikaar” of some kind, where a trap is laid with a bait at the centre, the victim (like shakti kapoor) falls prey, and then what! Nothing. Its like “khel khatam, paisa hajam”.

Rajdeep Sardesai, one of the names, I respect, (for the sheer manner in which he has gained knowledge and has tried to impart it to the society) left NDTV and now has joined CNN-IBN, may be just because NDTV was walking the same path, other sensational channels were trudging on.
One thing rather strikes me quite blatantly is that; all this mutilation of facts is for the sake of TRPs. Less the TRPs, less the channel runs. More TRPs, more sponsors. People watch what is sensational. And to me this sensationalism appears a rather shameful act of perversion. Anyways, I do not want to make a statement about the Indian psyche, which, in its entirety is a very broad and funny topic. I dare say that we have got this eye for perversion, because, I have noticed a few times, that we (Indians) prefer to remain spectators, rather than stand up and act upon something. One phrase, I hate is, “kya karega, chalana padta hai” when one in particular, finds himself helpless, despite of his expected behavior being a very minuscule effort. We mob around an accident site, we turn our eyes when a mentally challenged girl is being raped (ref: borivali rape) and later throng to watch the victim, how insensitive! Spy cams, MMS videos, phone tapping etc ….what the heck.
Imagine a desirably intelligent student, pass out of a prestigious journalism institute, say Jamia, and then run around, places marred with controversies, sex scandals, terrorist attacks etc. Eventually, by the time, this young guy or girl is 40, they are totally exhausted with the plans, they had with their career, their dreams etc. Then later they write down a book, join a political outfit or otherwise take a sabbatical that never gets over.
These days, huge posters of CNN- IBN are all over Baroda. Another sexed up, extra masala product from the Times group is about to be unveiled. Times Now, a news channel will soon join the race for TRPs. I have only seen movies being publicized so well. I always wonder if truth was ever so sensational.
This is a very big topic, but I need to come to some conclusions, though they may not mean anything to the entire media enterprise. First of all, let people live their life. Secondly, stop running around, sit down and talk with people, this race isn’t taking anybody anywhere. And finally, try to empower people rather than projecting them as mere scapegoats, mere baits in a juggernaut of politics, corruption and indifference. Try to bring back the arts of story telling, painting, music, and a happy living.

3 Comments:

Blogger blah_blah_blogger said...

I don't have a problem with more channels coming up but my only question is, "how different is one from the other?" NDTV, Aaj Tak, Star News, etc etc, they are all the same...even from the business perspective, how do you differentiate one from the other? Where is the substance? Where is the creativity? Where are the issues?

1:33 PM  
Blogger amit said...

money,money, money.....thats the fuel which runs this world

2:34 PM  
Blogger Mandar said...

Entirely blaming the media houses won't help.Its we who have to be blamed.on the whole its the masses these houses r catering to.and we like sensational news.dont we?if we look at the positive side of it media does create lot of awareness through the selling of these news.hardly anyone knew what a cloud burst is or what black box in plane is and its importance?
Only thing with these news houses is that they go little too far when dealing with the private lives of VIPs.There has to be some limit to their freedom.

7:14 PM  

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