The story of never ending conjecture and the judgemental society.
Gone are the days when education, unemployment, Inflation, environment, economic crisis and social issues use to make the headlines. Sadly we are living in the Era of agenda based Journalism. It is a shame to see how the media in our country has an order of business which pays no heed to bring out the truth about the dearth of the basic necessities. Most channels today are on the lookout for paid news and this negative ideology is hurting the country enough, as it is given all the tending to and destroying the ethics of the industry. The country adheres with such mediocrity which saddens me, what about you? There was a simpler time when Doordarshan was our only source for watching the latest news and happenings around us. The times have seen a major turn of events with the liberalization of media. Opening up of several cable services brought about an extraordinary technical evolution. We are now spoilt for choice with the plethora of news channels available ranging from Hindi, English to regional languages as well. Hence, with this outgrowth in quantity, the quality of most channels is questionable as they have let down their guard and standards drastically. The sole purpose for the media houses today is reporting sub standard material for- “telecasting television rating points” (TRP)- which usually plays out in a negative way as they spread hatred and cultural tussle by moulding the facts in the name of religion and politics. One and all are aware of how the media runs on TRPs, and circulation of print media, so the media houses have thrown their ethics down the drain and print any rubbish to create a stir among the masses. The origin of the story or the consequences of the story are paid no heed to. Eventually, stories like these turn out to have a destructive impact on the viewers in various forms. Any media faithful will be aghast at how the stories are broken out today.
Almost every mainstream newspaper, tabloid, website and news channel usually resorts to nonstandard news reporting. The news demands depth and comprehension as the material appears to be churned out indolently and in a haphazard manner. Every media house is equally responsible for mediocre work which solely focuses on what sells, raising a huge concern about their morals. A very good example here is the on going saga of the suicide case of actor SUSHANT SINGH RAJPUT. Everybody seems to have an opinion about the episode, without even double checking the facts. All theories are conjecture till date, but the media and some of the audience as well are ready to pass judgment. Initially the media had focused on the actor’s mental health issues as the reason for his suicide, then the nepotism theory was added to the fray. Allegations of nepotism and favouritism by bollywood biggies were making rounds on all channels. Bollwood actress Kangna Ranaut had a bullish go against nepotism in the above case and abruptly went mum as the Rhea Charaborty story opened up. Sushant being asked to walk away from movies was also considered a reason up until sushant’s father filed an FIR in Patna, Bihar. Yet again the media flipped and has provided a third theory concerning Rhea Chakraborty. She is a soft target, who is conveniently being bashed left, right and center by the media. However, one thing seems clear that a lot of political and bollywood celebrities are using the case to fix their personal interests and vendettas.The Bihar government wants to show their metal here as the case is about how a Bihar nobody, who makes it big in the film industry. The truth of the matter is that nobody is actually bothered about Sushant’s death rather it is a classic case where people are looking to stay in the limelight. On a lager perspective- Bihar elections are around the corner, political parties are looking around for brownie points. We as a nation are just looking for a scapegoat in this case. Everyone is free to have their own opinion, but their is no foregone conclusion here as the Supreme Court will proceed on the basis of evidence and facts. A common man either from the media or a spectator simply cannot just pass a verdict on who is guilty and who is not because that is not their line of work. One cannot turn up a forensic expert or a health expert just overnight. The job should be left to the professionals as they can handle what they are meant to do. What if after all this pain and turmoil Rhea actually comes out clean, will any media house or the viewers apologize to her for their baseless conclusions? All this character assassination and defaming caused by the media will be merciless to anybody. Currently all tv channels are only focusing on the Sushant Singh Rajput case, as it is perfectly fused with glamour, money, celebrities and lastly murder. Everybody looks for a daily dose of entertainment through the media and that my friends is a grim state. News channels have in fact stooped so low that they have introduced concerns about Rhea performing ‘black magic’ on Sushant to control him and his riches. Her attire has also been commented upon and used to tag her as a non-traditional woman bound to be immoral. Rhea’s recent video where she is seen asking for justice, her outfit is marked as a cover-up just because she adorns a white traditional “Salwar kurta”. How can someone be judged on the basis of their wardrobe? The news cycle is all about Rhea Chakroborty forgetting other major concerns hitting the country like the flood situations in Assam and Bihar, lack of education, jobs, inflation and lastly the Corona concerns.
It is infuriating to see that how even the private sector, which is expected to alleviate the ills of the industry and government organizations, has absolutely failed to rise to the occasion. Media houses are well known to side with political parties for personal benefits and agendas as we have seen in the recent times a Mumbai based channel where a loud mouth anchor uses the show to settle scores with the Mumbai police. Anchors on television shouldn’t pronounce verdicts. Journalists are no judge’s, we all are aware how the law takes it course and so the media should also allow for the due process to happen.The media houses conveniently schedule prime time debates, and we as audience accept it which is more of a comic show. The invited guests verbalize anything and everything, which at times may not have relation to the on going debate. Most of the people are bias in these debates adding fuel to the fire by helping more and more people form judgement even before the case is presented in the court. Media houses must realize that the onus is on them for their representation. The masses also need to be aware and remain vigilant, so as to verify the root before gripping any information to render an opinion.
The current state of affairs is genuinely gloomy because in a country where an individual accused of yelling or portraying anti national slogans becomes media famous overnight and on the other hand a brave soldier or captain in the army who sacrificed his life while protecting the motherland cannot even make it to the headlines or at times even the news. To err is human, but accepting such degrading way of reporting or journalism is an utter shame. We as a nation suffer by accepting mediocrity now more than ever.Our current attitude in essence is a euphemism for going hand in hand with this mediocrity and that further seems to manifest itself in more forms than ever before. Social media has also become a platform to spread contempt as some beneficiaries create fake news and we blindly follow and share it. To some extent the viewers can also be held accountable for spreading the news via social media or other sources without even taking a minute to check the credibility of the facts. A click of a button on our side could actually destroy a life. In essence we are now a nation that accepts and pass judgement on anything less than perfect. Not only accept, we seem to expand on it. An intellectual vacuum is present in our nation and at present we are so used to this mediocrity that it’s now become a way of life. In fact, we could go out on a limb here to express that we are so satisfied with mediocrity that, as people, we will elude any endeavour to make things healthier.
By: Shivang Mathur -Senior Journalist