Not my circus, not my monkeys..?

Media in its very basic nature is propagating something someone has to say. And since the very dawn of time, and that’s a long time ago, man has always had something to say to anyone who would listen. From ‘How not to be a tigers dinner’ to ‘three easy steps to build a fire’ to ‘Bit coin investments’.

Media has come a long way from its humble starting as a mere voice. Through the centuries of time, media has played an important role in shaping our lives. From bringing out problems to the public’s eye, bringing about change, fundamentally remolding society, to analyzing and predicting the future socio-political climate.

The media is at the heart of cultural, social, political and economic events throughout the world. No dimension of human life has been unaffected by the developments in communication: business, religion, education, recreation, international relations.

But that has all changed.

Gone are the days when watching news channels were a staple daily activity. And if media is developing so fast shouldn’t more people be watching and actively participating? That’s not the case anymore. And why? The blame isn’t upon today’s generation’s lackadaisical behavior towards what’s going around the world (as thought by the adults around us). In fact it’s due to the steadily depleting quality of news broadcasting.

We aren’t in the Doordarshan days anymore. We’re always surrounded by fake news, sensationalism, gossip tabloids etc and in the midst of all of this real news just doesn’t reach out. The main responsibility and duty of news agencies is to inform the public, educate and give an unbiased report of things. News we see today is determined by how popular it’s going to be with the audience. More sensationalism, more views, more MONEY!

Unfortunately that’s the way our news agencies have become. Each day brings forth some sort of breaking news. If there’s nothing major to broadcast and to stir up things, news channels have become well known for creating some exaggerated piece for views. For example, recently when I was watching the news, the news reporter announced the ‘BREAKING NEWS’ of the day. Accompanied with dramatic intro music she narrated the devastating news of the day that the opposition minister, Rahul Gandhi, had consumed chicken on his pilgrimage trip! With suspenseful music and dramatic echoes, bold letters flashed across the screen convicting him of his grave crime. Seriously? What sort of breaking news is this? Which sort of reputed news company stoops as low as to show this kind of pathetic news?

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. All we Indians need is Arnab Goswami spitting at our faces, telling us news Republic TV’s sponsors approve. We need facts not drama. If we needed drama we’d change the channel to one of the saas bahu shows on Zee Tv. That’s not what news channels are for.

And it’s not like we don’t have news to offer the public. From government laws, protests, poverty, pollution, lynching, riots, frauds, economic status, athletic achievements, and so much more. It is impossible that in a country of 1.3 billion people, we will ever reach a point where Rahul Gandhi’s chicken is the most important thing. Infact if the news had to focus on Congress, there is quite a lot to report about.

Even when we do manage to focus on real issues, we deviate from the point. We get stuck on the unnecessary. If protesters were killed, let’s focus on what religion they followed. If it’s a murder lets focus on the fact that the murderer was of a good reputation, and if it involves fraudulent practices turn the camera away. We have screaming politicians and dramatic music. We don’t have facts.

News companies ensure that they get the most controversial lines for their headlines.

Kya Narendra Modi ne yeh kaha?

Dekhya, dekyha yeh Congress representative na kya kaha ha!

And amidst all the matter, the real issue has completely been forgotten.

This is the irony of our time. Comedians have become our politicians. Comedians have ensured news reaches to the public and our news industries along with the politicians have become a joke.

It is time for this to change. Media exists as a separate entity to ensure pitfalls are never hidden. We need real journalism. And we need it before the entire institution that this country is built upon falls down.



-Adyesha Singhdeo