November 26, 2009

Publicity from Audacity

November 26, 2009 Posted by Vijay , No comments
A year on, India may have learnt some lessons. 26/11 for Mumbai, befell from some evil script written by satan. What has changed post 26/11, is the harsh reality of how cruel and audacious terrorists and their attacks can be. So far, and still, it is mostly fidayeen attacks, or other timer based bombs. Laying seige to a city by holding soft spots like hotels hostage came out of the blue. Expectedly, India was caught unawares.

What however was troubling, was that this was probably the first time, that 2 days or so of terrorist attacks were telecast live on television. And the entire world was witness to less than 10 terrorists, creating panic amongst an entire nation. In fact, it is now clear, that such attacks magnify the terrorist activities, and this is precisely what they want. Sensational events, covered by media, where the terrorists can claim responsibility and get away with ample free publicity, out of sheer audacity.

While the media has been, and will always be criticized for sensationalism, there is no doubt that message through the media, especially the visual medium is here to stay. Innumerable news channels, can influence an entire public mindset, turning the tide for or against political parties. However, annoyances and uselessness from this very medium (especially television) are equally on the rise.

It is an irony, that when reporting should cover the bare truth of news, somewhere, media journalism, especially television, is forgetting its larger responsibilities. Events such as 26/11 came as a welcome opportunity for news channels, to claim their own courageousness in being at close quarters of the beseiged buildings, and then claim having gotten exclusive news coverage. Even now, a year after 26/11, the media is bent upon digging old wounds and laying bare what happened on that dreadful night.

As if the trauma suffered wasn't enough on that fateful day, to be put through a revision of those very events can only be seen as sheer opportunism and nothing more. Why else would topics of discussion revolve around what happened, and not on what is being done ? Isn't it sadism to broadcast the pain of a victim who went through tragic hours on 26/11 ? Shouldn't India be proud and glad that post that dreadful night, no major terrorist activity has taken place ?

All said and done, the world is opening up rapidly. Everyone wants a say in everything. Be it through any media, television/internet/blog/print. The avenues for publicizing and airing thoughts are so huge, its a deluge of opinions and information from all across the globe. Terrorists are no different. They want to instill fear, and what better a medium than audacious attacks like 26/11 ? The media too, had 2 days of great programming, and hectic coverage. The terrorists have done a favor to the media by carrying out the attacks. Left them with a topic to cover for an entire day, starting from the first gunshot, till the last teardrop from a victim's eye. Media is returning back the favor, by literally admiring the meticulousness of the attacks. Free publicity that !