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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What is wrong with Media?

Jean Cocteau once reportedly said "Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images". Cocteau would have replaced 'mirrors' with 'media' had he been alive after looking at the homogeneity with which global media - print, electronic, independent - represent any event today, thereby often masking the 'truth'.

India is a country of paradox or paradigm. The relief work in bihar floods was well covered by media. Citizen Journalist and Zindagi Live on IBN7 were only two programs worth watching these days. IBN7 is first Indian media company to start official blogs for journalist and editors. This step is worth welcome.

A phrase is much popular in India: "Fame makes everyone an expert in everything."

Our media reports only these experts on any issues. Drama, Tantrum and TRP ratings play huge role in content of news channel. The English news channel are much better in content and mode of presentation. NDTV 24x7 provides quite balanced coverage of news. Hindi news channel like Sahara Samay, Zee News, IBN 7, India TV, Star News, Aaj Tak and Jain TV are worse in the news coverage and presentation. While Star news give quite a lot of coverage to entertainment package of comedy and India TV preaches jingoism message.Jus check the idiotness of one news channel over here. They don't voice lost cause but serious attention is given to religion, cricket and bollywood.

A death at Agartala must have same effect like a death in other part of India. Sadly, it is not. Media Circus in 14 year old Aarushi and servant Hemraj's murder was really a cause to worry. Considering the kind of questions being asked, over and over and over by the media to person at verge of death or loss of relative in an accident, my personal favorite---'How does it feel'?

Example: The experiment conducted in CERN will cause 'Doomsday' was such a cheap prank (When the LHC is switched on, could it "create a shower of unstable black holes that could 'eat' the planet from within;) but it became a super-breaking news across channels in India.

Crap and over hyped events are produced on the name of fast coverage. Sensational news and random heading of breaking news can make you crazy enough. 24 hour coverage of national news (i.e. entertainment) exist only in India. CNN and BBC are 24 hours channel but international coverage of news is taken there. I was smirking that Indian media is one sensationalized. But then I checked out CNN:"Bush hugs bikini-clad US Olympians".

The Hindi media also erupt in a series of poetic headlines in all situations. "Twenty20 ke sher / Twenty overs mein dher" and "Chhe sau run banane wale chhihattar mein chhitraaye".Link of the match;

People must get what they need not what they want.
I have taken these haunting lines from here"Therefore, the news of an Indian winning an award at Berlin Film Festival needs to be reported, the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights to Dr. Binyak Sen should be seen and, definitely, the voice of Kashmir should be heard.It’s precisely then there could be a balance between what the audience ‘want’ and what the ‘media’ perceives, because perception in itself is formed out of judgment that is routinely based on surveys and rating. But the mere outline of their ‘research’ is faulty because the mass at large is already blinded that they themselves don’t know what they doing. Since their opinions and perceptions are formed out of ideas and judgment that are routinely formed by the ‘spectacle’ of cinema and television, it gives rise to parochialism; often due to the reiterations of the images projected and opinion transferred through dialogues, as also interviews and text bombarded in terms of superlatives not to mention faux “ Breaking News” blurbs.The word 'Exclusive' and 'Breaking news' have lost their significance due to constant repeatable use at every hour.Even,Images,ads and videos are created and seen more from the point of view of consumerism than as an expression of ideas.So many breakdowns, in so short a span of time.

Interestingly, ‘Idol-worship’ continued to be an important part of the culture: socially and politically, where the ‘matinee’ idol embodied an important place in the minds and heart of film lovers. This ‘spirit’ has continued to grow and today in the age of satellite boom the media has populated the images into a state of fetish (Like offering prayers when their superstar is sick, and the media reports it as breaking news). While a win by a film director, at an important film festival, in the competitive section of the festival goes unreported. This type of fetish is seen across India.
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Bottom lime:Look guys, beyond the media roller-coaster of champagne and chappals every human life is priceless. Also Read this covergae about our media achievements in 2008.

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