Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Spate of divine incidents

For once, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to laugh at the sequence of incidents that were telecasted in past ¾ days or to cry because lot of my country men have suddenly become dumb or to be angry at news channels that are hell bent on blowing trivial things out of proportion.

Picture all these three incidents:

1) A boy falls inside a pit in a remote village and its national news for two whole days.
2) Some dumb fellas start drinking water in a beach when salinity of the water reduces, and that's national news for one whole day.
3) Some not-so-rational pilgrims think idols are drinking milk and that's part of headlines and ‘breaking’ news.

I'm again not sure what should actually break – viewer’s heads or the news. If every news clip is of ‘breaking’ category, I think I'm going to wait and listen to news that's not breaking. Or there should be fundamental change in the school textbooks to define the new meaning of ‘breaking’ news.

My guess is a lot of people in the bloggerdom have already commented on it, but I haven’t read blogs lately. But think about it. Agreed that there has to be sympathy on a small boy who fell inside a pit, but is that national news for two whole days? Stuff that millions and millions of people have to watch for 48 hours? News channels are purely commercial and I understand that they got to show stuff - at least once in a while - that people like to watch. And this boy-inside-pit is certainly a sympathy evoking what-people-like-to-watch stuff. But does it warrant it to be telecast to all the millions of people?

Again, move on to the water turning sweet incident. It's clear that bits and pieces of drainage that mixed with the sea water caused some chemical reactions and reduced the salinity of the beach water. Some dumb fellas apparently thought it was a miracle or some divine interventions. Which is fine since not everyone is rational and educated and clear-headed. But how in heaven’s name can news channels make news of this incident and blow it out of proportion? Watching the episode, I got the idea that the whole of Mumbai was drinking that water until I called up a couple of my friends to verify if they are home. How relieving it was to find them home!

I can't but wonder about the difference in professionalism between the news delivery of the other English news channels around the world and ours. Every channel needs to show bits and pieces of what people want to see, but have journalistic standards fallen to absolutely low levels? It’s all the more irritating to watch all the channels showing the same stuff. Call it herd mentality or commercial mentality, it just doesn’t add up.

I can't say what my feeling at the moment is, but I'm sure my time spent of Indian English news channels is going to take a hit.


Post a Comment

<< Home