some talks, some emotions, some expressions & some silence

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Thursday, 18 February 2010

Media and Us

The Media or the mass communication industry which is very closely related to our daily lives has today become the most controversial subject of daily talks. This is largely due to the gap between the citizen who expects the media to be an apotheosis of authentic communication and the proprietor of these agencies whose only goal is to show profits. This market has become so competitive that there is no place for ethics, quite similar to the oil & gas industry. News has become a commodity which is sold to us fresh every morning 365 days a year and we buy it. Unfortunately, humanity could never sell "meaning". No matter what they do or want to do, they need to generate revenue which is very well depicted by the humongous advertisements in our newspapers. Now, this is not wrong. That is a very good use of media and both parties gain in the process. The problem is highlighted when there is a question on the importance of the news that is delivered to the audience. The news which would sell more, of course gets an edge. For eg. The news of a bomb blast in a city(where most of the audience is based) holds more importance than the jawans slain in combat against international and national terror around the country. The concept of freedom of press is lost. Either it is biased on some ideology or it is submissive to the market it is catering to.

If we focus on news broadcasting stations, even the style of delivery has changed. News delivery has gone beyond the required voice modulation and kinesics. Today, its more of a drama scripted very well like a regular movie where there is a hero, a villain, sometimes a godfather and the news reader merely plays the role of a narrator. Most if it looks staged. Sadly, many of us still trust the authenticity of a news channel and this drama affects us as good as a karan johar's melodramatic flicks. Yes this sells! Someone tried it .. and now everyone does it and if u don't no one would bother about you and may be slowly mistrust you. A perfect example is our National news channel - DD News.

DD News brings us the most authentic and unaltered information available and also delivers it with utmost sincerity. There is no drama, no emotional blackmail and its very well left to the audience to develop their own unbiased thought about it. The reason is pretty much the same - its a government agency and need not compete with the growing market. We have a lot of news channels fighting for the "exclusive" stuff and finally you see multiple channels claiming for it. Now one of them is definitely lying! DD News infact brings us the most exclusive political news which holds very less importance for us because nobody died or nobody scored a century or there was no controversy. News readers are also very active on social media promoting their own agency. A news reader in a studio is more known than a reporter covering war-affected zone or a journalist trying to work for the betterment of the society in his own small way. And of course no one knows a DD news reader as much. DD had its correspondents too when Rajdeep Sardesai was covering Gujarat riots and Barkha Dutt was reporting on Kargil war. Many of the news readers we see today on various news  channels started their career from DD news. Only now do we know them.

If today we are blaming the media we are blaming ourselves. We buy it, so they sell it. This is exactly what the East India Company did and slowly paved a way for the British rule. We are submitting ourselves to the whims and fancies of the media and offering the service of our mindless souls.We just need something to talk about. We talk about it and we forget it. Compromise today and complain tomorrow -  that's a very common trait. Ain't it?