Wednesday, April 11, 2007


"Aishwarya - Abhishek were spotted together in a party", "Aishwarya (or Rakhi Sawant or Sanjay Dutt) visited ABC temple and performed XYZ puja", "Liz Hurley is going to wear pink saree at the wedding", "Rosa and Soha commute through Rickshaw", "Dhoni planning to have a hair-cut", "Sachin's son played school-level football match" and multitudes like these...

Open any newspaper or surf through 24X7 news channels, you will find such news adorning front pages or coming under "BREAKING NEWS" section. Is India (one of the largest country in terms of land and population) so uneventful that "Page 3 events" come through as headlines? Wasn't (at least) front page meant for meaningful news/events that affect the country and common people? Wasn't "BREAKING NEWS" tag meant for substantive important news that has occurred in recent past?

Now a days, The print and tv media is completely smitten off by "commercial" interests. To move ahead in media war, they encroach private space of celebrities and publish juicy gossips. The very next day they take interview of the concerned celebrity and we are told that the previous news item was nothing but a mindless rumour. Ahem! Then, why was it published at first place? Media elevates some people to superstardom and then pull them down to 'zero' status all in matter of few days.If we browse through the archives, we will surely come across hundreds of contradictory items. The media coverage given to our cricket team pre and post world cup is one of the glaring examples of the media hypocrisy.

With regards to the news channels , I seriously think there should be reduction in the number and the transmission hours. Most of them run out of novel news and then take resort of 'SICK' news like 'Brother marries sister in spite of social pressure' (Eeeks!) just to run the channel 24 x 7. It's time that news channel' management do serious introspection.

Thankfully, everything is not bad. The media participation in Jessica Lal, Priyadarshini Matoo, tehelka et al. cases has been commendable. Media aroused public interest and participation in these cases. The "India Poised" campaign from Times Of India has also impressed me a lot. The Barkha Dutts, Pranav Roys of news fraternity provide good dose of meaningful news and healthy debates.

Balanced, unbiased, free media is important for democracy. I sincerely hope that media recuperates and reach new heights. Also, it's time that we give correct signal to the media by not increasing TRPs or clicks to mindless news items.