ankitvirmani
ankitvirmani
Branch Unspecified
24 Jun 2007

"News you can use"-Where is it leading us?

“Let truth prevail”, “We bring you light” and “The people’s paper” might be the taglines of our favorite newspapers. Afterall they are the ones which bring the world to our doorsteps every morning. Oops! humans have evolved and with technogeeks, technofreaks et al. ruling the roost and “www” getting ready to become the new wonder of the world, we have news 24*7 on televisions, internet, i-pods etc. contributing to the traditional newspapers. Afterall awareness is the key to success in this information age.

But are they leading us on the path we wish to follow? Do they really give us what is desired and do they truly give us light without keeping things in the dark? Let us give it a second thought.
The focus of newspapers today, has shifted from journalistic excellence to tabloid-style pizzas bordering on yellow journalism. Anyone who has read “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand would like to recollect the following lines:

The first campaign of the Banner was an appeal for money for a charitable cause. Displayed side by side, the Banner ran two stories: one about a struggling young scientist, starving in a garret, working on a great invention; the other about a chambermaid, the sweetheart of an executed murderer, awaiting the birth of her illegitimate child. One story was illustrated with scientific diagrams; the other--with the picture of a loose-mouthed girl wearing a tragic expression and disarranged clothes. The Banner asked its readers to help both these unfortunates. It received nine dollars and forty-five cents for the young scientist; it received one thousand and seventy-seven dollars for the unwed mother. Gail Wynand called a meeting of his staff and said: "Now you all know the kind of paper the Banner is to be."
-The Fountainhead

Times have changed but the scenario hasn’t improved. Instead it has worsened. Not only are the newspapers today full of murder, arson, rape and corruption, but also try to influence public opinion for vested monetary interests. The Times Group has drawn some amount of flak for a scheme called "medianet", which other firms can use to purchase editorial coverage in the daily. The tabloids today try to sensationalize all that is possible or else influence public influence by publishing biased articles. Though the Times has traditionally tried to portray an image of political neutrality, it has been by and large viewed as a pro-establishment paper. Media analysts opine that The Hindu gives undue weight to only one side of issues. Considering its almost monopolistic presence in Southern India, this is bound to change views and affect public opinion. And who can forget the annual college rankings where the college rank improves with the amount of “donation” given to the magazine.

The electronic media are no less in their contributions. The coverage of certain events just to stay ahead or atleast at par in the rat race sometimes blows the news out of proportion. You might still remember a certain “Prince” falling in a well 57 ft. deep on his birthday. You might have prayed for him, offered nariyals at the nearest temples, and if not anything else, watched the army take efforts to help this poor little soul out of the hole, on all news channels (except BBC). The channels put SMS services to their advantage and messages of well-wishers poured in from all parts of the country. The best equipment, army personnel and medical aids were made available. And for the conclusion-grand parties were organized when the boy was rescued. The case clearly shows the power media possesses in our country. But can India with an ever-growing population afford this?

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The mishandling of events many a times evokes public sentiments and leads to clashes. We might wonder as to what caused the public aggravation over the Richard Gere-Shilpa Shetty kiss (although it was just a peck on the cheek). With the news bulletins repeatedly showing the video, calling debates on the matter and using words like “Taboo”, ”Hindu conservatists” ad nauseam, the media created the spark and fueled it too. But we may ask ourselves-wasn’t the issue given more hype than was needed? Afterall we do not mind when we pay to watch the amorous escapades of Imraan Hashmi, nor do we mind Ekta Kapoor showing the traditional Indian woman changing her husbands more frequently than clothes. So how can a simple peck on the cheek affect our culture?

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At the same time an overemphasis is given to coverage of the so called “Page 3” topics-Life blown out of proportion which the common man can only dream of. Who can forget the reactions of news channels when the “Abhi-Ash” pie was snatched from them. Even though it was the family’s decision to keep the event private, news channels grabbed all they could (from the colour of Sonali Bendre’s sari to the number of buses in the baraat and the type of flowers used for decoration). News channels speculated, guessed and questioned, debated, argued and answered but still provided live coverage of this eagerly awaited marriage for almost 15 continuous hours-and all this trouble just for their dear audience (hope that there was nothing else that was happening in the world at this time as we and the news channels would have definitely missed it).


The latest and the most amazing ones in the queue are the soap-criticism ones by the news channels where Star News criticizes and makes fun of Zee soaps and vice-versa. Or else there are the “Crime Reporters” type late night shows whose sole aim is to terrorize the people. Is there nothing else going in the world that these channels have to waste their precious airtime on such crap or is it that they give us what we want?

The phrases like objectivity, responsible journalism and news values are no longer relevant in today’s world of competition. Who is to be blamed for it? Not only the media. They simply give us what we like the most. The fault lies in what we like and what we ask for. The fault lies in our mindsets and our tastes. The fault lies in the definition of news which we have developed for ourselves-“News is that which will create the greatest excitement among the greatest number of people.”

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LORD_EC

LORD_EC

Branch Unspecified
24 Jun 2007
I agree that newschannels,now a days are just a chunck of private limited companies who always want to see their net profit curve touching new heights.Receently there was a news that ministry of information technology,banned Ftv for violating some of the censor rules.I want to ask one thing from them.What news channels of todays age are doing ?I mean they are telecasting nude,porn mms,videos,call girls trying to hide themeselves behind a towel.What is this whole sh*t ?

You will be surprised to know the i am completing my summer internship at Department of Information Technology (the one who banned Ftv), and you will be shocked to know the people here are found to play solitaire on their computers in their working hours.Many of them have been caught by me surfing Porn sites.What is this all ?? I mean at some point you are giving lecture of censorship and indian customs to public and at the same time surfing porno sites.I dont understand all this crapy politics.

At some points,i agree to ankit that we should feel proud as indians,but growth of indian
companies,merger and aquistions has nothing to do with the developement of India as a whole."AAM Aadami" will remain "AAM".Growth can only increase the drift between rich and poor.
If this current scenario continues,i can see india as a developed nation gioverned by Rich,with middle class and poor people population=0%
suyash

suyash

Metallurgical
30 Jun 2007
LORD_EC
You will be surprised to know the i am completing my summer internship at Department of Information Technology (the one who banned Ftv), and you will be shocked to know the people here are found to play solitaire on their computers in their working hours.Many of them have been caught by me surfing Porn sites.What is this all ?? I mean at some point you are giving lecture of censorship and indian customs to public and at the same time surfing porno sites.I dont understand all this crapy politics.
hmm... really thought provoking !

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