Last Week while Flipping through the pages of my Effective Communications Skills Textbook I came across a sample letter which quite defined the state of Indian news channels and Media. The actual existence of the letter cannot be guaranteed but however, the issue which it deals with is no doubt, real. Here is that letter.
Indian News Channels have shifted their area of interest from real journalism to Bollywood Gossip for TRP. Real News stories that require public attention and action somewhere get lost in between the life stories and events of Public Figures.
Sri Devi’s case
The recent and untimely death of Sridevi is a classic example of how news channels can go to any extent to garner TRP’s. The journalists at this time had broken all the lines between journalism and exploitation. The TRP’s of the channels were more of a priority than the dignity of a legendary Superstar. Aaj Tak channel had its headline screaming ‘Maut Ka Bathtub’ with a Picture of Sridevi in a frame and a bathtub beneath it. A reporter in Dubai went to the extent of wondering if Boney Kapoor tried to resuscitate his wife when he found her in the bathroom! The photos displayed were the fake Photoshop effect of her lying dead in the bathtub in a white dress and Boney Kapoor coming towards her.
Other Allegations included the reporters wondering if she was drunk before she died. In another Prime-Time panel discussion, Times Now Editor-in-Chief Rahul Shivshankar wondered whether the actress drank vodka, some cocktail or wine! An anchor, quite morally said, ‘sharab ke nashe main chali gayi duniya se Chandni’ Questions like, “Did she drink because of family problems? Was she stressed about the end of her career? Was she depressed?” were raised. If all of these weren’t enough, there was a channel speaking about Sridevi’s Rebirth. All of this just indirectly showed the falling intellectual level of the Journalism.
A few weeks back it was seen that Kareena and Saif Ali Khan’s Son Taimur was all over the internet all the time. His picture did all to distract the public from issues dealing with public importance. There came a time that the water reached its brim and people lost their cool over it. The Kind of Journalism was mocked in all ways and told to focus on the issues which were needed to be addressed.
Sadly, the issue doesn’t just lie with the Indian or Pakistani Media Channels but also spreads out to the west. Celebrity journalism outlets in America are not only popular, but they are gaining grudging respect. The National Enquirer was recently nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the John Edwards’ affair. It is sad to see that the journalists out there trying to do their real job and exposing the wrongs in the system are shot dead while the ones with all the celebrity gossip get famous.
Rules which Indian news channels should comply with
The fact needs to be acknowledged that If the mainstream media doesn’t cover celebrities, people will get the news anyway through outlets like other websites which solely have the purpose to do so. The overhyping of Celebrity issues and life events ends up covering issues that really need be spoken on the platform that the Media has been given. It is time that effective journalism is put into practice. An environment should be created by the government that allows the journalists to carry out their work freely without any fear of being confronted for exposing the wrongs.
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