Friday, November 28, 2008

Good Old Days

I think we were a happier lot when there was just one channel to contend with. Doordarshan. We only got 30 minutes or so of news per day. An hour at most, if you added up the different language bulletins. These last 60 hours or so have been harrowing, to say the very least. But these news channels have been driving me crazy. Why is there no law that censors what these guys show? We can get into lengthy debates over some woman's short skirt and whether it was appropriate or not. But there's nothing to stop these stupid journalists from asking the following:

"Do you think the terrorists are able to view the footage that we are broadcasting?"

There should be no need for the entire nation to know what the NSG plans to do and how. Giving out detailed descriptions is like telling the terrorists, "Be prepared, this is what is going to happen next."

"There's a helicopter over Nariman House and it looks like the commandos are going to enter the building from above."

Or, "The commandos could go up this building or they could use this one. We have no information on what the POA is."

Why? Why do you even need a censor board? I'd assume these people have brains and maybe some common sense. But it appears my assumption is doing exactly what it is meant to: Making an ASS of U and ME.

To top it all, these people are completely insensitive. Our almost world famous (and also heartless) journalist, Ms. Dutt, asking someone whose husband was stuck inside the building, "How are you feeling?" is the sickest thing to do, IMHO. What did you expect for an answer? "I didn't like him that much anyway and I'm happy he's inside."? If you can't sympathize or empathize, maybe you can at least learn to keep your big mouth shut.

Everyone has now forgotten the Arushi Talwar murder case. But the same journalist had the family of the accused Krishna on TV and asked, "क्या आपको लगता है आपके भाई पर ग़लत आरोप लगाया जा रहा है? क्या आप मानते हैं की आपका भाई निर्दोष है?" (Do you feel your brother is being framed? Do you believe your brother is innocent?) What on earth was she expecting for an answer? "Yeah, my brother has been a murderer since his childhood, so this is really no surprise."

Call the whole world into your studio. Fight over who gets the bigger stars. People, who in my opinion, couldn't care less about anything unless they were directly affected. All because you think your TRPs will go up. Then, in the name of direct fearless media, ask stupid questions and keep butting in when someone is trying to talk, be extremely rude to people who may be your grandparents' age, keep pushing your opinions (and make us wonder why you called those "experts" in the first place), get into a shouting match and force us to turn off the television. Because while we've taken many steps forward, and know that the television is a great tool, you're hell-bent on making us realize that it is, after all, an idiot box.

And you do nothing but sensationalize news. Show us gory pictures over and over again. You've been a perfect vehicle for the terrorists. They laid out the bait for you and you're happily eating out of their hands. You forgot to mention, even in passing, that people died in large numbers due to Cyclone Nisha. But you remembered to mention that some cricket matches have been affected thanks to this violence.

Get real guys. Get some common sense. Above all else, get a heart.


Random Thoughts said...

this morning they brought "live and exclusive coverage of our brave hearts" even in death, they have not accorded the dignity that thos ppl deserve.

Guru said...

The indian media is so immature. they dont know what to show to the people. And add on to that they add an 'exclusivity ' tag. every news channel is bothered only about their TRPs. they have forgotten that theyhave a moral responsibility towards the society by not showing gory images. But news channels take pride in doing that. But actually they showing the live pictures actually scres people more and make them feel more unsecure.
and i sometimes feel , these so called journalists dont have a heart. What happiness do they get out in asking a poor father who a just jost his beloved son?

Raaga said...

Even people in the media are upset over this.

Swapna said...

I am glad to know I am not alone in thinking that these journalists have no business being in some places...

Anonymous said...

I used to work in the television news industry. The first couple of months were great, glamorous, felt I was doing something meaningful. But then, the cynicism, the constant search for something news-worthy, the constant exposure to the seamier side of life really got to me. I moved out. I am working as a technical writer now, and am happier writing stuff that doesn't affect me on any emotional level.

Journalists tend to adopt a hard-nosed attitude over time. That is the only way they can cope ! When we see them in action like we did in Mumbai, it can be very jarring to non-journalistic sensibilities.

Note : I am not defending them here. Just saying I can understand how they end up becoming so callous. For that matter, even our cops have become so insensitized.

Bhashan over :D

Ish said...

I got to know of your blog on my friend's blog..
You write nice and make it interesting.. though the font and the color you have used for the background doesn't make it easy...

finding thyself said...

If anything has got to do with media, I am reminded of a movie called "Mad City" starring John Travolta and Dustin Hoffman. A must see if you haven't watched it yet.

Hrishikesh said...

There's a nice article somewhere about how Bombay VT was ignored.

My question to you folks is: why do you even bother watching news on TV today?

Ish said...

Change is always good, it has made it into your blog also.... looks good, easy to ready, how about writing a new post also :(

pRiyA said...

THIS FINALLY is BOLD PASSIONATE INTELLIGENT writing. such a rarity on blogs these days. well said raaga. well said!
and to think i was looking on and off at your cooking site all this time.

Deepa said...

I disagree. It's very important that media NEVER be censored and only self-regulate. You could, as a citizen, completely boycott (and organize boycots) of irresponsible channels. The danger of censorship, is this : WHO can you trust, to decide what's to be censored? That's a BIGGIE. The answer is, NO ONE. As much as I deplore the general irresponsibility of the media everywhere, particularly from the perspective of correcting social ills, it's criticial that they be FREE. --Deepa

Raaga said...

@Hrishi: There's a TV on in the common area at work and one can't help notice what's going on. Especially when someone like Ms. Dutt asks stupid questions.

@Deepa: If the media channels had some amount of common sense, I'd still say give them freedom. They behave like total nincompoops. I ask you, if you were in that situation (god forbid) and the TV reporter asked you, "Can you please tell the camera how you feel now?", would you really be thrilled? I might not trust the government entirely, but I think we all need to sleep in the beds we made. We elected this government, we have to trust them to get us out of such situations.

Shalini said...

Very well said. I completely agree with your views. Journalists these days seem to have no qualifications and no sensitivity at all. It's just all about the TRPs.