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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Role of Media

1-  One grey issue needs our attention :  The real tragedy of the media’s surrender to the state is that journalists have stopped reading books, especially history books. Speaking at the Fifth Al Jazeera annual forum Robert Fisk laments the state driven semantics that take over and alter grave debates:  Journalism and 'the words of power' ;

2- Media does not act out of grief or out of some sense of compulsion at the death of any celebrity. Media is merely pandering to the lowest common denominator for commercial considerations as the stories that combine sex, glamour and death find a ready market. So its like justification of drug peddler for giving drugs to victims as given by media on defencing its coverage of sensational gossips and celebrity lifestyles.

3- Let me remind you, there is a public service broadcast also in this mob of news channels for serving citizens of this  nation. That is called Prasar Bharati.

B G Verghesse covers necessity of public service broadcaster in telling news :What ails Prasar Bharati ?

The “public” it serves embraces the entire diversity and plurality of India, men and women, aged and children, rural and urban, tribal and dalit, illiterate and elites, the differently-abled and disadvantaged, belonging to all regions and professing all the multifarious languages and cultures of India. Its role is to inform, educate, empower and entertain these many publics, not privileging any above all others.

Further, he focus on the difference of commercial and public broadcaster:
Commercial broadcasters are perforce dependant on ratings and necessarily compete for audiences that relate to the advertising that sustains them. They therefore primarily woo the “customer” and not the “citizen” who, for the most part, still lives below or perilously above the poverty line. The public service broadcaster's duty on the other hand is first and foremost towards the citizens of India, many of whom live in remote or backward areas, experience myriad difficulties and exploitation, speak “minority” languages and dialects and seek knowledge and empowerment to fulfill their varied needs and aspirations. There is no other agency to fulfill this supreme obligation. A nationalized broadcaster, serving the Union government of the day (for even the State governments and panchayat institutions have been deliberately excluded) simply does not fit the bill.

Reputed Journalist, P Sainath puts that responsibility if media is - to signal the weakness in society. That remains a minimum duty of a decent press. A society that does not itself, cannot cope. The focus is on the spectacular. The long term trends that spell chaos does not make good copy.


  1. The Hypocrisy of media has been covered by me as well. Nice to this post

    It was more nice to know that you follow Francois Gautier writings

  2. I have read your article on the hypocrisy od media defending RSS & Bajrang Dal. And you are quite right winger for me. Its easy to take flaw of others with rational reasoning but such talent should also be used for reform of our own culture and religio. I read Francois Gautier once and have send a mail regarding my queries. The high point was that I got pretty good reply clearing my confusions. And FYI Mayank, I read all point of view to write impartial at my blog. Nice to see you here...

  3. Surprised to see that such a response came from you.
    I am a common Hindu who seeks justice for his religion. I am an iconoclast who tried opening the eyes of today's youths.
    Are you also from the same league of pseudo secularist who term anything that is hindu as communal?
    I am really surprised.

    My media article was just an investigation/revelation of truth

    RSS and Bajrang dal have been covered as well at my another post - we hate extremism, I hope it will help you in knowing the plight of modern awakened Hindus

  4. Mayank, you are a brilliant observer of the events. Don't justify religion, just judge it by its acts. Any act of violence and bigotry must be condemened with full voice. And I agree Hindus become more diplomatic, than speaking truth in other religion causes. By trying to label me or any one as pseudo secularist, you are cutting an entire debate process.We must question the traditions so that bad rituals can be eliminated from Hindu culture.
    The change must — and, hopefully, will before long — come from within.

    Indian Culture is not a pure version of Hindus alone and it will never be. Its hybrid of whatever touches us and become ours. Don't become too cynic in critiscing foreign religion and practices.

    Whatever truth is , it will reveal itself by the actions of those who carry tourch of that ideaology. If Bajrang Dal did wrong, it will be hooted down and if SIMI is banned, because people agreed to do so.

    It is more productive to engage with, rather than censor. We have to oppose all hypocritical religiosity that prohibit a wide range of normal human pleasures.

    Just don't Stereotype people. An institution can be wrong but not the people. The people can be reformed. That we both are trying to do. If the idea of Hinduism has been rising, it will rise naturally. Don't push extreme hindutava model of Shiv Sena on all. We have to develop mentality that pitches reason and deabte rather than organized hooligainism.

  5. Well... due to various reasons/factors... some of which are: advertisement, ownership, affiliations... media is what it is today...

  6. Yes madam, we don't run media on non profit mode. Still there is more need of well informed journalists. Just see the example of wikileaks.

    Its editor in chief has said quite simple truth: you can’t publish a paper on physics without the full experimental data and results; that should be the standard in journalism.

    This explains my stand also.I rest my case.



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