Few years back I was invited to a cousin’s place who was very dear to me as a child. Being super excited was very obvious as we were meeting after more than a decade. Their very lively house had all but one thing that I was looking for in particular, a television set. Being a newbie in the media world back then, TV and news channels were the things I would consider ‘My Types’. When asked about not having a TV, I got a very simple response, “No. We wish to keep our place clean. No contamination.”
The way my dearest cousin and his beautiful wife responded to my query, reminded me of the times when grannies in the house used to keep separate utensils for the young girls who are menstruating. Why such feeling? Because they had kept their TV set in a corner and asked me if I wish to watch something, especially News, I will have to sit alone in that corner.
Ironic but true. BARC India’s “What India Watched – 2018” report states that the news genre of Indian Television Industry had produced only 7% news and 93% of the content comprised of sensationalization, drama, chats, discussions etc.
Okay! Now can someone please throw some light on to why news channels have turned the demise of a young Bollywood actor into a circus? It’s been almost three months since SSR left the world and after blowing the matter so much, it seems like the News channels have assumed that they are a cut above the CBI and other agencies investigating the death mystery. Because every time my busy schedule allows me to get a hold on the TV remote, all I get to see is newer khulasas by the reporters and news anchors.
They say, ‘Imagination knows no bounds’. The other day I was wondering what if this is a film and the person who was found in SSR’s house on 14th June 2020 was his body double? What if he is alive and watching all of it? What if he comes back?
Another spine chilling episode took place when Congress leader Rajiv Tyagi died because of a toxic TV Debate on 12th August 2020. Why there wasn’t a debate on that particular subject? Again, on 31st August, when the former president of our country, Hon. Pranab Mukherjee breathed his last, no news channel turned up to inform the young audience about Mukherjee.
Where did the media responsibility go? I guess all of them were busy calculating that for how long is Rhea Chakraborty being questioned by the CBI? No TV channel bothered to show some respect to the former President of the country. Who was Pranab Mukherjee, what difference did he make to the Indian political system, his contributions as Finance Minister and as the President? Period.
If reports are to be believed, most news events covered by the Indian News Channels were loaded with drama in the past 4-5 years.
Several such reports are just a click away and we all know the real picture that elderly in our homes avoid watching news in the morning. They say, it ruins the morning freshness. Youngsters simply skip all the newsy content; even when they should watch it; by saying that news anchors are always shouting, do you even get to understand what they are talking about?
This year, 2020, gave us a zillion reasons to mourn but it also gave everyone an opportunity to look inside, evaluate, self examine and take a rebirth. India is becoming aatm nirbhar; people are supporting people’s businesses as well as their will power. India is aiming to emerge as a world leader. What role will Indian Electronic Media play once all these dreams turn into reality? Will it continue touching new lows or will it understand the dire need of revival? Because it’s now or never.