Coming to you 'Live', 'on your channel', we bring it to you 'as we see it' - the 4th estate

Some stats:
50,000+ print media
375+ broadcast media
200+ news channels
45.3 million active internet users
Explosive growth in new media (including mobilephones)
Advertising revenues growing at a healthy pace
So who sets the agenda for the content and information that we are subject to 24x7?

Do you feel todays media is 'tabloidised' more than ever before? I remember one channel head briefing me to sell 'news' as entertainment. Well, it is:) And it also is the primary conveyor of information, news and views in our society.

Media plays the role of watchdog over society, overlooking proceedings. So why does it resent a watchdog to overlook proceedings over itself?

Guess the owners and the Editors are a powerful community. We live in times of conflict and turmoil, and I wonder if that makes some, above scrutiny? Is a watchdog over media an abstract notion in journalism?! Now there is a thought...

When everything is breaking news, and all stories are sensationalized and dramatized then how do we sift between reality and drama? Do we even understand as public what journalism must stand for today?

The state has made repeated attempts to regulate the functioning of the media. Barring Emergency, our media has vociferously resisted these attempts. Journalists and media owners came together to resist any regulation.

Am all for democracy and responsibility. It would be great if all things true and powerful could conduct themselves with vibrancy and rigour and self policing and righteousness to ensure no need for a regulatory body ever! Only if we humans were infalliable, could this utopian situation exist!

The widespread criticism and condemnation of the broadcast media's coverage of the November 26 attacks in Bombay was an interesting example of the face-off between the media, the state and the public - a rare instance where all three agencies were in disagreement with one another. The media contention that the government was unprepared and the absence of a central agency to give out official information resulted in a free-for-all. The government responded by seeking curbs on media coverage in instances of terror attacks. SO when will media show its social responsibility and own up its excesses- the rights/wrongs?

Sure the internet is becoming a powerful medium to carry clout but nowhere near powerful yet.

In today's fractured media environment, where competition to grab the media market is more intense than ever before, ethics are the obstacles in the race. Different sections of the media are governed by vested interests - economic and political.

When media refuses self-scrutiny or fails to acknowledge its mistakes they cannot even agree to disagree. So how can the media be made accountable?


Jim said...

If media allows and outside in look then investigative journalism can promote good governance. Good pov.

Anon said...

Socially responsible journalism is the need for the hour. Young impressionable's are tuned in and you cannot ride rough shod over them nor should media hoodwink them to believe otherwise. Definite need for judiciousness and a overall governing body to regulate the media. Runa

melinda said...

One often complaints that leading news channels on their own dont have enough depth in the information they present. Now why do you think this is being heard repeatedly?:)

RavneetSingh said...

There is a storm in the teacup brewing here in the united states over cnbc and its responsibility to its viewers.

The new Progressive Chance Campaign Committee, The watchdog Media Matters and others are all asking CNBC to hire economic voices with a track record of being right on the current economic crisis, and do more to hold business leaders accountable.

"You screwed up badly," the petition, posted online Monday, reads. "Don't apologize. Fix it."

CNBC has been in the firing line since a leading ribal journalist Stewart pointed out network personalities who, in retrospect, offered bad financial advice. It culminated in Thursday's tense appearance by CNBC's Jim Cramer on Stewart's "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central.

CNBC had no comment on the petition drive. The network has recently defended its coverage by saying that it invites guests of all points of view on its broadcast.

The network's critics say that CNBC had been obsessed with getting access to business leaders, often at the expense of the truth.

SO yea, I'd agree the need for a watchdog for media. They obviously are unable to use their might and powers judiciously!

sanjiv said...

What a timely post me - did you know that shorgate was going to happen for chidambaram today?:)

For sure some regulation is reqd!! The guys who are meant to bring you the news cannot be the news surely!!

Raj said...

Socially responsible journalists? For sure none of the front line journalists on tv are that! And their pretense is so hollow - maybe they need to revisit some basics like don't treat your viewers as morons!!

Shweta said...

Journalists need to remember they are reporters first and much later reps of communities. When they come to a press conf they come as journalists and need to leave behind their activism and biases to do a fair balanced reporting!! And clearly todays incidence is a huge signal to tell you lines are blurring. At a time like this if we had a monitoring counsel we would have been on more firmer terrain!

Raj said...

its all about gaining maximum trp's, so no surprises that constructive journalism has taken a back seat, as if it aint sensational, its not news anymore..

rajagopalvk said...

as raj said "its all about gaining maximum trp's" more over our community is very addicted to visual media and the difference is only in Kerala where the Press stands first....people belive blindly what ever they say..first public attitude towards the media should change, only then media will change for public,