There was a time when the television news had it’s importance and it’s prominence. It was only on for 30 minutes in Hindi from 8:30 to 9:00pm and then again from 9:30 to 10:00pm in English. I remember as a kid, my dad used to wait for the English news and within 30 minutes he would know the important national and international news. For everything else he would read the news paper next day.
And I would only be interested in sports, so i would watch just the last 5 minutes of the news. Doordarshan news was the best !
I don’t exaclty remember how this transformation happened or what triggered this to happen, but over the past decade and more importantly in
the past 3-4 years, there seems to be a mad rush for the 24X7 news channels. Just imagine, from a modest couple of hours a day to 24 hours a day, that’s just mind boggling. Obviously it can’t be all news , so the news channels started featuring debates, discussions,campaigns, documentaries etc to make it worthwile.
The 24×7 news has become very powerful, so much so that it can make the most powerful the most helpless and vice-versa. But somewhere in the mad rush of being the number one news channel, the channels seem to have got their priorities all mixed up. In an effort to make every news a breaking news and every news a sensational one, so that they can get better rating than their contemporaries. This has also meant that no news will be reported unless the news channel thinks it can get some mileage by reporting it.
While I completely understand that at the end of the day, the news channels are nothing but another business trying to survive the rat race and so can report what they want and how they want, what i don’t understand is when everyother business has some sort of regulations, restrictions, the media seems to have none or even if it’s there, nothing seems to be enforced.
- Why is the media allowed to show dead bodies when a bomb blast happens ?
- Why is the media allowed to negotiate with terrorists ?
- Why is the media allowed to do live telecast of an army operation ?
- Why is the media allowed to play the role of judiciary ?
- Why is the media allowed to do sting operations ?
- Why is the media allowed to use foul language in their debates, discussions ?
And there are obviously a lot of issues, incidents that the media conveniently chose to ignore, should they be reported, then the impact media can have will be tremendous and long lasting.
I only wish the media realizes it’s more than just business. They have a moral and a social responsibility to fulfill just like any other citizen.