Monday, January 26, 2009

Kabhi Khud Pe Hansa Main... Aur Kabhi Khud Pe Roya

Notice the number of times your parents / grand-parents have told you that the Television is an 'idiot box'. I've always wondered whether it is correct to brand something so universally when it can be a source of entertainment and knowledge. But I realized how much wisdom our ancestors held when they uttered these two words, when I switched on IndiaTV and saw the following report :



Oh why not? Aliens have travelled billions of light years to drink delicious cow's milk on their long journey back!

And who can forget 'The Great Khali' - his loss became the breaking news in this (in)famous news channel. Incidently, a train got derailed that day, taking its toll of human lives and public property, and (not) surprisingly, IndiaTV chose the loss of great Khali to be their "breaking news"!

There are Bush Bloopers and then there is IndiaTV. One is harmless and humorous; the other spreads panic and fear psychosis. It thrives on the darker sides of people - fear, superstition, magic and supernatural. Being a Hindi news channel, the reach is wider as compared to other news channels. And when a "TV Channel" provides such information, people tend to believe. With a number of channels vying for TRP, there is cut-throat competition and a lot of them have gone the tabloid way. Their coverage and reportage of various news events tends to be often sensational and irresponsible.

In fact, a glance at their career section gives the following : INDIA TV, fastest growing news channel is looking for people who believe in justice and the power of truth. Who believe that every single evil existing in our society must be exposed and every single truth revealed. People who believe that there are many more battles to be fought, within our own society. Join India TV in its mission.

Bah!!! And they believe that they are 'exposing' aliens and revealing truths about ghosts on trees, tormented souls in wells and possessed witches in villages.

And if IndiaTV takes the cake for toxic reporting, Star News (Hindi) takes the cake for frivolous reporting. Dig this...



This type of journalism is called Yellow Journalism - journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers.

In fact if these (and other) Hindi news channels are to be crucified, the English ones need not be crowned either.

Remember AbhiAsh wedding... every single news channel made this a HUGE affair - the BIG FAT INDIAN WEDDING, if I may call it... I'm sure it is imperitive that every citizen knows what breed of horse did Abhi ride, what was the colour of Ash's mehendi, what kind of clothes they were wearing...

And of course, the Mumbai - Taj terror attacks. Every angle, every nook and cranny was covered by media persons - perching precariously on the roof-tops of adjacent buildings, reporting 'Live' the entry of our armed forces, the exact position of the army helicopters, the number of commandoes, the number of trapped victims rescued, which exits were unmanned, which vehicles were being used to take people to safety - the horror of it all was magnified manifold. Is it too far-fetched to think that the terrorists will use the media - television, internet - to glean information on the activities of the armed forces? Insensitive questioning by the likes of Barkha Dutt to the relatives and friends of trapped victims has come under intense criticism from all sections of society.

Our news media has become derelict in its obligation to the society to serve as a platform to voice citizen concerns and shape public opinion, and has lost its moral authority as a watchdog of the administration and establishment.

So what is the way out? The ideal solution would be regulation and censorship by the government / responsible body but this puts a serious curb on freedom of expression and could lead to interferences which are undesirable. The best way out then is self-regulation and self-censorship - a need for a complete restraint in the mindless chase of sensationalism and importance and focus on good journalism. It is, after all, one of the last and most influential and far-raching bastions of our democracy.

23 comments:

  1. in similar vein
    http://forums.sulekha.com/forums/coffeehouse/Breaking-News-Amitabh-Bachchan-Catches-a-Cold-797904.htm

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  2. On the other hand..

    "Then they came for me"

    http://www.thesundayleader.lk/20090111/editorial-.htm

    http://www.sepiamutiny.com/sepia/archives/005589.html


    "The free media serve as a mirror in which the public can see itself sans mascara and styling gel. From us you learn the state of your nation, and especially its management by the people you elected to give your children a better future. Sometimes the image you see in that mirror is not a pleasant one. But while you may grumble in the privacy of your armchair, the journalists who hold the mirror up to you do so publicly and at great risk to themselves. That is our calling, and we do not shirk it."

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  3. lol
    i always hated india tv for its mindless reporting on stories. shame on rajat kapoor to have headed this channel

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  4. lol!!!!I mean WTH???This is news??these channels are pathetic to say the least...yeah true!one doesn't know whether to laugh or to cry!!

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  5. Good points Dewie, but then the question is wud the media have intent to walkthru the self imposed censorship ? for sure the market forces wud play a big role in here..

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  6. hey nice work yar!
    sum channels r really lyk...wtf

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  7. It reminds me of wtf section of wassup...I hated Wassup but one thing was for sure!!

    T.V. cannot live without sensationalizing things!!

    Yellow Journalism..you say...point noted!!

    Take Care

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  8. Good point.
    Running behind TRPs was fine till it was restricted to 'saas-bahu' serials, but the news channels sensationalising even the most trivial things is ridiculous!

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  9. hah.. yellow journalism is a small word.. we will have to find several more colors for likes of India TV. I always think, they should censor the news channels for just 2 hours a day in India. This way they will be bound to show the actual and some serious stuff only.. as for now, they are not actually defaulters, what do you expect them to broadcast when they have a whole day to pass.. if they will roll the same clip again and again, even that will not be good.. so just 2 hours and thats it !!

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  10. what a SHIT..
    i dont know where this so called journalism is heading..
    alien and cow..and those stupid questions

    and the biggest wonder is INDIA TV ka trp is at the top...can you believe

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  11. Journalism, media has reached its lowest ebb. At what and whose cost? At ours and of the future generation.

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  12. yo man! three cheers to the new generation of reporters..hunh! i cant forget the gawher khan episode. it was a case of wardrobe malfunction. there were perhaps 300 people when it happened.. but the media played that news with the clipping for three continuous days. who did worse to her? the fashion designer or the responsible media? these people need to understand people see what they show. they have the ability to incline people thoughts in the right direction and the wrong too. so they better get responsible and serious about their jobs.
    and by the way, this aliens and gaay waali news takes the cake :)

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  13. Last time I remember seeing a "breaking news" that was covering a conjugal fight!! Next they'll want to cover "Mrs. XYZ ne khaane main namak zyaada kyun dala? kya woh apne pati ke khilaf saajish kar rahi thi???.... ya bacchon pe attyachaar??... kya mehangayi ka koi asar nahi pada Mrs. XYZ pe?... akhir aisi kaunsi wajah thi, jo Mrs. XYZ ko jyaada namak dalne pe majboor karti hai??!!" LOL, see mark my words, they aren't too far away from that!

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  14. i luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurv india tv..kasam se..it is d best entertainment channel there is!! :P

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  15. so true , so true . remember the time when a daily soap was catapulted to fame by a similar "mechanism" ?

    "kya gaay (sense) danger me hain"
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  16. Nice post Dewdrop!

    Our media persons have become masters at hyping stuff just to gain brownie points. Each one tries hard to better the other... eventually bettering each other at stooping to lower levels as far as quality is concerned.

    And why just India TV... our so called media gurus are equally to be blamed.

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  17. i agree with each and everything u have mentioned here. media these day are falling down and down and down. they r misusing the power they have. in spite of helping in d upliftment of d society

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  18. Hahahahhaha! OOh yez..cows exported *specially by India TV* are stolen by Aliens indeed! ..lol lol lol!
    And yez..how can I miss the breaking news==courtesy to INDIA TV-the great.

    "Amitabh Bachchan ko Iifa mei speech ke dauran cheek aayi!"



    Lameness..lameness I tell you!

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  19. This is ridiculous... Last time a friend of mine posted an India TV capture abt a triangular love story of three tigers and I could not believe it...but now with this post...I wonder where the journalism is heading in our country??

    It is a wonderful post for sure... BTW there are couple of people who have filed suit against India TV and NDTV for the coverage of 26/11...lets see if there is a ruling that makes sense.

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  20. A point if no one noted ll be...
    Did u do this extensive study? u might be having a helluva free time to spend. such extensive screenshots.. hmmm.. no wonder!

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  21. woaaa.. i have never seen so funny from a long long time!! :) rofl :D

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