Being laid up in bed with a bad back is no fun - take it from me. You would have thought TV would be good time pass at least. Heck no! It pains me to see mediocrity thrive on tv. What is the overt difference when you watch NDTV Good times and Travel and Living? Both channels are top quality - one macro and global, the other more niche. Both appeal to the Indian mindset. My daily fix however are the sports and the news channels.
How are the news channels any different? The reason I say channels is because my print consumption is minimal (its either the internet or the tv) – print has too many facets of paid news today that it has lost its credibility with me!. So are our news channels balanced in their point of view, responsible and truly deserving of the fourth estate status?
I think our media is at best biased, sensationalism driven, and skewed towards the political affiliations they carry! Especially dangerous for the young minds in the nation who tend to easily get swayed by the ra-ra they hear on TV
But as I say this I am going to get a little contradictory too and say our media, despite many flaws, display many strengths too. Its perhaps the same need for viewership that keeps them ra-ra-ing about themselves as much equally for subjects that resonate with viewers: Racism, Politics between India and Pak, S Tharoor and his girlfriend, Ipl and Politics and the bid drama, model commits suicide, some celeb’s marriage etc etc
The even bigger advantages to my mind of our media is that they keep the corrupt politicians in check – not just the politicians also the bureaucrats, policymakers, educationalists, goons, dons etc etc. All our Polity is completely dictated in its moves by the mood on TV as a litmus test. Depending on how much attention an issue receives in the media dictates next steps very often.
In this clamour for trp’s and the din created by many channels are we forgetting the poor? The sick and ill? The old? The uneducated? Don’t they form a large portion of our universe? Who will give them a voice? Not our Polity! Not the voting system. Not the haves and the rich! So who? The only one that can indeed elevate them to a level of dignity is the fourth estate –our media - but barring an odd tv network group, is anyone else even interested in addressing these people or their plight or solutions to uplift them?
Our media is powerful. To influence opinions, swing moods, sway sentiments. But are they balanced in their reporting? I’d have to admit it’s a 50:50. Lots gets said and done in the heat of the moment but unfortunately there isn’t enough sustaining power! Some TV channels even mirror the unparliamentarian embarrassing squabbling, outshouting, yelling, accusing behaviour on TV making each of us realize what a undignified, unruly, uncouth lot we are! While some talk shows pretend to be intellectually driven other channels openly show favoritism and jaundiced personal views to either throw a panelist out of a debate by openly scorning him or slant the debate
If at times talk shows don’t end up becoming a platform for a blame game then the next attempt is to pre judge and hold people accountable before the law runs its course! O pls don’t take this to mean I am complaining- I love the 9pm Arnab News hour for its theatrics as much as I love the NDTV Big Fight – both offer popcorn entertainment and I’ll be lucky if at times I go away feeling and wishing the debate had continued a wee bit longer!
I think the Media folks are very astute. They have their fingers on the pulse of us viewing audiences. They know our need for exciting reporting (read entertainment) and they tailor to it. If we challenge them for more authentic, more right brained reporting - we will indeed receive it because we have the talent and the caliber of people who can deliver it. The point also is do we want good stuff? Are we ready and hankering for it? Or are we merely fence sitters who just like the rest of the nation love nit picking?:)
Posted by Mee at 9:53 PM