Media a bane

When we go to talk about media as a boon or bane, I certainly think that media is in the hands of the masses with vested intrests. How can you ever expect to get something unedited, uncencored when you watch a news channel or read a newspaper?

You might say that a particular newspaper is good and put your full trust in it. But have you ever thought that everything might be a faux pas? For example, during these days, the media has continued to show things like Asaram’s guilt should be punished based on law-breaking rather than some religious blasphemy and promotion of Ranbir Kapoor’s latest movie Batameez.

I mean, come on. In the name of the holy Ganga, punish him already and create some space for the other news clippings that might be of importance. Also the bollywood news should be kept exclusive to the bollywood news flash and not in every event.

Like let me ask you a few questions. Have you heard of the following?

An mbbs student, Neraj Bharana had been raped by the Vice Chancellor’s son in her college hostel and the entire event was passed as a suicide case even though the evidence suggested otherwise. Moreover, the media was bought and no news focus was given to the protests held on her behalf.

The Kansas City Star reported that the level of AIDS amongst Catholic priests in the US were 4 times the rate of AIDS among the general population.

Have you come accross these reports? Have these issues ever been popularised? Only the rape cases in mega-cities where the media is strong comes into focus. Also the reasons behind the AIDS cases are hardly known. All the media seems to do is create aggitation and opinion in the masses. The media plays a big role in creating an opinion. In a free country like India the media is supposed to inform the masses and give space to it to form own opinion. Itstead, it is forming the opinion for the people. The majority of people tend to go for the news that has been sensanalised.

Then how can we forget glamorization of criminals?

Violence in society exists, but the media ‘glamourised’ it. Now the media though million-dollar movies seemed to have replaced the smuggler as the object of glamour and commercialisation. These days the life of the mafia is viewed as a more better option then doing an honest job. And the media seems to popularize it.

India’s first newspaper, the Bengal Gazette, appeared in Calcutta on January 29, 1780, an occasion now celebrated nationally as Newspaper Day. The transformation in the India media scene in the intervening 230 years has been enormous.

The communications revolution, television and an expanding social base ushered in a new phase of media growth. The media today wields immense power, shaping the national agenda. In the competition for ratings, the media houses mix honey ans spice to create its popularity. Even the simple media now has be commercialised for profit. There has been a dumping down of serious reportage and analysis, a trivialization of news and events, sensationalism and prurient coverage, invasion of privacy and gossip without verification. Also there has been a disregard for fair and balanced reporting or  correction in case of error and the right of reply.

While there are admittedly fine journalists and some excellent writing, there is a lot of lazy journalism along with shallow writing, inadequate research, ignorance of background and context.

It tends to happen that the media can shape the lives of people overnight. It can deliver a news that makes someone a hero and let to the downfall of another.

Also there is the issue of commercialization of female ideal image which creates a sense of disgrace among the women who cannot achieve the ‘ideal body size.’

Media strongly influences the minds of the people who read or view what has been published, so it is important for the publishers and publications to be careful and cautious in handling the inputs they get from their reporters. Media is a boon if it is socially responsible. But most of the time, it turns to be a curse if it carries information or coverage to sensationalize and misrepresent facts at the cost of someone’s reputation. For long-term solutions, we will have to bank on the educational institutions to educate, train, groom and prepare the youth to be more discerning viewers rather than passive spectators or participants in order to avoid any irresponsible influence or working of the media.

Even the reporters need be more aware because the viewer is intelligent. What is viewed can be easily criticized and lead to the fall of entire mass media which will cease all communication linking the world.

These are just some of my random thoughts. Do join in with your views.



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