Shruti R Sharma
One rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch in a basket; similarly one shoddy agency can blemish the reputation of a whole organisation. The latest swerve of Indian media of not following their own work and instead treading on the heels of channels like daily soaps has become a serious concern for the nation. I remember as a kid my whole family used to group in front of the TV at night and watch DD news and getting to know about the world in just 15min of their news updates. As days passed and we started gaining our senses, the trend of Indian media changed rapidly. Cable channels came into our world and our perception towards the same started evolving. Now we had a lot of options of news channels to choose from, more choices the better it would be we thought. But was it so, we all know the answer now. As news channels provided 24/7 news, we were able to watch it whenever we got time from our busy lives and get updated from it. Technology made human evolution better and effortless in every way. But where there is a lot of option for costumers, there is a lot of competition between the sellers. So by the beginning of 21st century there was clearly a competition to bring out the fastest and latest updates of the news between different news channels. The better you bring the more audience you gain and the more popular you become. Then there was a time when a news channel did some sting operation of corrupted personals which unexpectedly shifted enormous amount of attentions of the masses towards such news. And gradually many channels except for few started showing news dipped in masalas and even gained audiences for the same as well. And hence the trend of masaledaar news came into effect. But I will admit that we all somewhere enjoyed it. As long as news channels kept was updated, it was ok with us. But the real problem started when it seems that most of our Indian media is enchanting a similar mantra. I have never seen a bunch of Indian media singing so synchronously before. Media is the 4th pillar of our democracy. “The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed” – Hanna Arendt. And during this season of 2019 elections, some media channels are following the path of not informing the people and hence creating an environment as what Hanna Ardent has said.
The information being provided to the people is biased. Especially during the election days work of the media should be to raise the public issues and give them a better platform. Media is the only face of a common man to these law makers, the only way in which we can put our problems in front of the people. Media should make the whole nation count the work the Government should’ve and would’ve done. Although some news channels act like an influencer and influence the masses to raise the questions that benefit their existence in this country but some have forgotten their sole purpose in this industry. Enlisting the work done by the government is definitely the job of our media, but isn’t it questioning why some media channels are not at all uncovering the promises to our citizens that were broken in the past 5 years. Isn’t it questioning that how a party can be so ideal all of a sudden in the face of news screens? Yes, anti terrorist schemes should be commended, but showing the same thing again and again on media and trying to divert the attention of masses from the ground reality that people are facing is unacceptable. And when did speaking against ruling party became so anti-national? It is the job of the opposition and a duty of every citizen of India to ask and raise ever possible question against your government. India will not develop from the Kashmir issue and Pakistan is not our competition in this race to become a better nation. What do you think there are no more problems left in our country to debate for than for debating whether the IAF strike in Balakot was successful or not? Or trying to prove how many bombs were shelled or on measuring the chest of a particular person? According to a covert operation done by Cobrapost, it was found that almost 70% of media houses when asked to be rewarded handsomely to allow the party in power to harvest electoral dividends in coming elections, proved to be too irresistible for them. Media should be a source of information and should not look like another rally of a particular party. The paid up media is impacting the decision making power of the voters and by doing so they’re rigging the elections. A paid media not only impact the elections but also play with the economy of our country at micro levels by beating the local businesses. On one hand our government very strictly taps the social media like Facebook and other blogging sites by making stern security norms and on the other hand, the same government is exploiting the authenticity of the media houses for their own profit. This clearly shows the hypocritical situation of our Government as well. And we shall not forget the impact of paid media and social media on the American elections and what consequences the people of that country had to face because of this ill effect. In 2015 a draft was formed to take up action against paid media by the parliamentary panels.
In 2018 information and broadcasting ministry (MoI&B) has dropped that draft. So currently there is no law to tackle the paid media. An unbiased media is a media that is the need of this hour, a media on which its citizen can rely upon, a media setting an example for the world. But then again, a most important question is raised, why would some channels divert so much from the real news and show something that is entirely exclusively entertaining for the crowd? It is we the people who encourage such trends. People don’t actually want to see the real things happening in our country and are rather more enthusiastic in demeaning neighbouring countries. And hence media follows the flower bed path laid down by us. There are hundred thousands of youth in our country sitting idle with graduation degree in their hands and finding no job in government sector. Then they are ought to do strikes and fasting for days so as to let the government hear their voices. But the same youth when come back home, switch on their TV sets, they encourage the news of Indian government mortifying the other country. The same youth if had encouraged watching news which had shown them sitting on dharnas all day wouldn’t have been sitting unwaged at their homes.
We should accept the fact that it is a social media bubble that we’re surrounded with but we should not let some social campaign that has nothing to do with our lives or with the development of our country to influence us to take a decision that we would probably regret in future. So it is time to brace yourself against the current system, a system that will only try its level best to degrade you rather than embracing you but it is the citizen of our country, for them this system work for, for them they get paid. PHD degree on Kashmir won’t bring electricity or water to our homes, but a decent job will. Getting indoctrinated by a bunch of media channels shows how weak we are as a citizen of a country. It is time for taking the rotten apple out to save the bunch that is the media houses that are still authenticated. And we as citizens of this country can give a hand towards breaking this swerved trend.
Shruti R Sharma