“ In the new global economy viewers look for titillation in news, which is why we show a lot of cinema, a lot of cricket and plenty of crime” Laxmi Narain Goel, Director- News Group, Zee News.
India is a democratic country, where people are the ultimate source of power. A democratic society permits freedom of speech and expression and this is where Indian media comes in. Undoubtedly, democracy could not have been possible without the free press. Since its inception Indian media has played a very important role in bringing awareness and educating the masses. To a very large extent media is responsible for people’s behaviour, mindset and attitude.
Indian Press is an asset for our country; media indeed is a watchdog of our society. India is the biggest newspaper market in the world. But, there is a flip side to it. The common people, who are the main targets of the media, get rather misinformed. Since, Indian media works on ‘Self- regulation’ therefore media has enormous power and control.
Untold facts about the Indian Media
Inaccuracy: With immense increase of news channel, newspapers and social media networking sites, rumors, yellow journalism, sensationalism and inaccurate information is on the rise. Lack of knowledge and immaturity is very much reflected in the reporting or writing style of journalists and reporters.
Some of the most bizarre and bogus breaking news are mentioned below:
- Mili ek laash, naa zinda-naa Murda! (A corpse found, neither dead nor alive!)
- Witch asked for onion in the night
- Obama was found with youngest bride (where Osama was replaced by ‘Obama)
Stories on rivalry between a ghost and a ‘baba’, dog and a snake or a criminal who wears a mask is justified by the rise in the TRPs of the channel. This clearly proves the fact that media is callous and insensitive many a times.
Provocative: Competition and TRPs is the reason behind the provocative and sometimes misleading news shownrepeatedly on news channels. Even social media is also moving in the same direction, anyone can now have their own YouTube channel and upload videos. Messages sent across by the media, especially television shows are sometimes racist, sexist and biased; which leads to violence and panic in the society.
Exaggeration: In 2012, tens of thousands of youngsters from the north-east of India living in Bengaluru fled the city because of anonymous messages that all north-easterners were going to be killed. Those who sent these messages were never caught because they hid in the anonymous world of the Internet. Terrorists constantly use the anonymity of the web.-
Excerpts from the OUTLOOK Magazine. This example tells It all. Exaggeration and hype are some publicity stunts that media uses to grab attention and attract the public.
Biased: Media is supposed to be completely unbiased and impartial. Many news channel and newspapers privately support a particular political party and therefore are biased while presenting a story or a report. Another reason behind media’s biasness is the fact the many channels and newspaper are owned by influential political personalities who have their personal views, ideologies and vested interest which is reflected in the way they present the news to the audience.
Paid News: Paid news can be defined as- paid content are those articles in newspapers, magazines and the electronic media, which indicate favourable conditions for the institution that has paid for it. Paid news is considered unfair and biased. It uses news as a tool to promote a brand, a company or a person. It is a much advanced and hideous form of advertisement, which raises many questions against journalism and its ethics. This also gives rise to black money and corruption.