Media & The Breaking News Culture: Don’t Believe Everything They Tell You

Do you believe everything that the News Channels tell you? 

Do you have faith in the corporate firms that call themselves media and are sworn to the noble cause of nothing but breaking news 24 / 7 – you know, the “Sangeeta Bijlani seen on Salman Khan’s Balcony!!” and “Man married his goat, wife threatens suicide!!!” kind? 

Do you take everything the media tells you, on face value? 

Do you, dear reader, let the media spoon feed your brain?

Well, what a sorry little soul, you! You clearly are as miserable as a drunk f#&k. And you have absolutely no idea that the primary reason behind all your miseries is stress or angst, and 73% of this stress and angst is Media induced. True story. You, my friend, have Media to thank for most of your stress.

You know how? Because Media today, specially in our country, is not the unbiased and gutsy reporter doing his best to research, write, and report on a story that is of genuine public interest. It is, instead, an industry that thrives, if not completely, then at least 50% on their own agendas. For a growing country with an ever growing unrest, 50% of fabricated or misconstrued news is really bad, BAD news, pun intended.

Unfortunately, people are no longer the focus of the non stop Top Stories of every hour. Agendas, money and power have replaced us as the center of attention and the quality of reportage and journalism have taken the hit to the metaphorical brain. 

The Arnab Goswami and the Sagarika Ghose brand of theatrical journalism is, well, not really journalism. It is as good as a reality show where the scripts are doctored to fetch the maximum TRPs. There are no rules. There are no guarantees. This is an industry where a reporter’s job is only as good as the next deadline, and revolves solely around uncovering slash conjuring up a sensational “Now Breaking” item – be it Modi (not!) sporting a high fashion LV shawl, Rahul’s absence for days, or Sridevi’s boob job. What? You didn’t know about the fake D-cups? Google it, Jeez! 


But together, all these 57 News channels and their social media accounts, they weave a gloomy tapestry of the current state of affairs that will send you in a state of perennial outrage and angst, which puts us all in a certain amount of stress. Believe it or not, there are studies that state that being subjected to bad news can induce negativity and gloom. 

Read Dr.Abdul Kalam’s take on Indian Media and it’s negativity here, and before you take the News Flash in bright red colors on your 50 inch flat screen seriously – think. There is  a lot that doesn’t meet the eye. With the was over TRPs and GRPs, there are careers at stake, alliances to save and the News Industry today is nothing short of a corporate gunning for a big turn over, a business looking to expand and butcher the competition.

Also, there is the political influence that is undeniable. I mean, who in their right mind would go gaga for an hour on prime time TV over Rahul Gandhi saying something monumentally mediocre, mundane and just plain mental? And who, in the spirit of true journalism, would declare having Sanskrit as the third language, as a Hindutva thing and hence, a threat to Secularism? 

I know, I know exactly what you’re thinking – so, she’s a bhakt. And I am not. 

However, I am also not a pseudo intellect claiming that Modi winning – and not the last 60 years of serious backward walk from development, is the worst thing to happen to us, nor am I an arm chair activist shouting on the internet in ALL CAPS about how free speech is murdered because a guy posting ‘Indians need a reminder of 1999″ on Facebook gets arrested in Bangalore. I am not anti any faith, any religion – anyone. What I am anti is the fact that today, a Chinese child in China can give an entire speech in Sanskrit – but it gets us the tag of “fierce Hindutva terrorism” if we want to teach it to our kids. 

What bugs me is that all the newspapers and TV channels that never fail to bring up 2002 and Modi’s wrong-doings against minorities, have never bothered to interview a single family that suffered in the Godhra case. I mean, coaches and coaches full of people were burnt to ashes so I’m assuming there must be at least a few torn and broken down families that this media can talk to, right? 

Why hasn’t any true-to-his-journalistic-vow (is there one? There should be!) media person spoken about them? There isn’t even a charge sheet filed, from what I last Googled. Did your news channel, the one that breaks news every 1.5 hours, ever tell you this? 

Also, there are a lot of good things about us, as a country, that we should be proud of – but we are seasoned to focus on the negative and to dismiss any good that’s ever happened. 

What saddens me is that we – including me at times, and my well read, well educated friends – seem to have lost hope. We are India, you guys! When have we ever backed down? Our capital Delhi alone has had nine lives – torn down several times, only to rise from the ashes like a phoenix. We are nothing if not resilient. And no one, not even the media should have the power to tell us otherwise.

So all I’m saying is, don’t take media on face value, okay? They have their own agendas. You have your own mind. And oh, the good thing about the TV is that it comes with a remote! Thank god for (not so little, this one!) little mercies, right?

Post Author: Aditi Mathur Kumar

Author. Traveller. Blogger. Talker. Eavesdropper.

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