June 17, 2008

Bray-King News !

June 17, 2008 Posted by Vijay 1 comment
Breaking News ... CBI cordons off Sector 25 in Noida, breaking News, Lie detector Test on Krishna, Rama, Kumbhkarna. I am not able to find more characters to the string of names which come up on everyday news stories these days. The news items only pertain to Neeraj Grover's gruesome murder or Aarushi and Hemant's mystery. Or for a change cops charged for raping a woman, and the woman killing herself for not being heard by the Haryana Police.

I would rather the news channels dedicate their prime time for news which has more sense, than some botched up investigative cases which are of no consequence for people far across India. Instead, what these channels bring on the idiot boxes for all of us is nothing but Breaking News, which either has to do with cordoning off, lie detector tests or suicide which maybe murder. I shudder to think what the new age, impressionable children and teenagers are being fed with as far as news is concerned.

Most of the news channels, atleast the Indian ones as of today have 3 crime investigation details everyday. Do they make any sort of attempt to do such investigative work, to break terror plots ? When terror strikes, they have all the news in the world to blame and question the lackadaisical police approach or sleeping intelligence agencies. Is it because, terror plots involve people who are far more notorious and have nefarious links with terror groups across the world ? Is it that media of today is scared to break these plots or try and find the instigators of violent acts ?

When IPL was going on, it was apparently cricketainment all over the channels for a form of cricket where India isn't even playing. What a sick paradox. Our media hypes IPL to such astronomical levels, and then praises the success of it, and then pummels the panel of cricketers into submission that 50 over games are in grave danger. Talk about wrongly influencing public opinions, this is but one instance. With the amount of crime stories being covered, the new series of programmes our channels cover should be called crimetainment.

It is so much easier to ask questions, and put investigative agencies in a quandary, than to actually provide answers. The fear here is, there could be sinister motives of crimes these days, which could even mean kith and kin taking lives of their own blood. Since our society is entangled and stuck in a deep sense of ideal orthodoxy, no one can believe for a second that a father or mother can kill his/her daughter. My fear is, this would mean the media would air interviews with the accused, pleading for justice, when the accused is still at large.

Star News has a riveting programme running on it, Sansani, which unravels crimes, conspiracies and tricksters in the guise of palm readers and swamys who abound in India today. Sansani recently completed 1000 episodes, and is aired aired Mon - Fri 11 pm on Star News. The host of the show , Shrivardhan Trivedi ,brings a sense of suspense, drama and awe. This is a cue our famous NDTV's, Times Now's and CNN IBN's can well make use of. After all, it is not just an Aarushi or a Padmapriya who die in India everyday. Take a look at Sansani, and one will know how much more gruesome murders can be. Neither Aarushi nor Padmapriya (even if she is wife of an MLA) demand national attention.

With such coverage of crimes and investigations, even the CBI got upset with the media for poking in their investigation and coming up with their own theories. What it does is, gives a sense of false impression to impressionable children, that crime sells. The kind of national attention given to such cases, can at times be so inviting, the path to crime may not be too far for the kids of today. Become a serial killer and be famous overnight. This can be a scary thought for any parent.

Of course there should be room for the media. Of course justice needs to be meted out. But, justice after the verdict is out. Our media is deciding a case, opinionating the public and literally handing out the verdict for one and all even while investigations are on. This is not responsible journalism and needs to be nipped in the bud. Curtailing access of media from crime scenes, until evidence and any such proof has been collected is one way of doing this. The Government and the police forces need to be pro-active and take initiatives, and curb the media from crime scenes.

If the media is indeed keen on doing investigative journalism, it should be for the good of the public. Another thought could be to time such shows or news items for late nights like Sansani. This would atleast keep the young ones off these news items and not influence them unnecessarily. Right now, our news channels are doing nothing but feeding the public with news, running opinion polls which exploit the sentiments and emotions of Indian public. Our news channels need to have some sense of responsibility and not just give Bray-King news, but sensible, useful Breaking News !


Anonymous said...

nice thoughts

I appreciate your view point and hope people too will understand nuisances of Indian media

What ever you have written is very true and is always ignored by the media