September 29, 2011

Today's media is socially and morally responsible?

In the civilized and democratic society like India, media plays a crucial role in directing the nation towards a value based society. Media has lot to do for a society and nation, but are they playing their role appropriately?

The following examples which point out major slip-up of communication media –

1. In Lokmat newspaper, I read the news entitled as “Chandrapur range recorded Chittah”, as per my knowledge, in 1947, Maharaja Surguja killed last Chittah of India. The detailed news explains that, government officials mistakenly wrote wrong information in their records. If this is the case, then why newspaper gave such misleading/confusing title?
2. Most of the newspaper was flashing news entitled as, “Indians are excellent in Mathematics in the world on the basis of GMAT score”. The fact is 60% Indian GMAT scorer are from engineering background while only 15% candidates globally were engineers. If we compare this statistics then it is obvious that Indian will get better score than others.  If this is the fact, then newspaper’s statement “Indian are excellent…” is misleading
3. All news channels was telecasting live coverage of Mumbai terror attack very proudly, but that live coverage was helping indirectly to terrorist’s boss (based in Pakistan) to guide the terrorist
4. In Cricket World Cup 2011, the organizers used to play our National Anthem before starting a match. A cameraman used to telecast each player while singing the anthem. If our anthem is playing and if you won’t stand steady then you are committing a crime… Is this not applicable to that cameraman???
5.  In Tamil Nadu state election, while Rajanikant was voting, all cameramen were telecasting live coverage of that. In that crowd, he may be voted for the wrong person whom he doesn’t want to vote. Our constitution has given secret ballot voting right to people of India. In such cases where is that right? Isn’t media crossing its limit?
6. IBN7 news channel was flashing the breaking news that, “ओबामा के मरने से राहत इंग्लंड”. Rather than putting the name of world’s most wanted terrorist, the news channel put US president’s name (key person of the ‘Kill Osama’ mission). This shows how the news channel is responsible in publishing news?
7. Take a recent example which tell us that how media misinterpret the news and misguide the citizen of India. Govt published that 32 Rs is sufficient for a person for one day. This means that if you cannot spend 32 Rs a day to feed yourself then you are considered as poor in India.Almost all news channels and newspapers have published the  news that 'if you can spend 32 Rs a day to feed yourself, then you are rich in India'. Govt haven't said like that. They have just put a limit.
8. Except promoting quality news, almost all news channels promote reality shows, comedy shows, dance competitions, singing completions, etc.

I can mention numerous such examples. All news channels and newspapers just want to increase TRP or distribution rate. But, in this race, they forgot about the ethics which they should have to follow. ‘Pipli Live’ and ‘Page 3’ movies are the best examples which shows, how media do its work…

The latest example media’s negativity is about Lokpal Bill and agitation (I won’t call it as Satyagraha). Media showed the picture as like whole nation is supporting the agitation but the fact is metro cities and only some states (no big news from Odisha, Bihar etc etc) were supporting the agitation. Media hasn’t focused on this and hid the fact. Media was publishing Team Anna’s statements repeatedly but they haven’t published and focused the government’s strategies and view regarding that. I surprised when media hasn’t gave attention to PM’s address in Lok Sabha on the Lokpal issue. This points out that, media shows the things that viewers want to see (masala type) not facts. In my opinion, hiding the truth is same as lying.

I know no of examples of journalists who asked bribe for not publishing his/her name in the news. If someone commits suicide, local journalist asks bribe to their family members for not publishing the suicide news in the newspaper. This kind of cheap things also happens with no of families. Similarly, there is another source of money for media is paid news. Paid news is news which is used to help advertise without adding the tag ‘ad’. Media print such news to earn money because they forget the purpose of their birth; they forget the intension of James Hickey behind starting the first newspaper.

Also, I observed that, if you arranged a press conference, then you have to give special attention to every press member otherwise they will not print your news. Take a few days back example of Ajit Pawar v/s Media. Ajit Pawar pointed out the fact that how media make a boom of unnecessary news and he also appealed that except doing this point out problems which will us for better governance. What is wrong in his sentence? Rather than taking that fact positively all press person stopped telecast. Mr. CM – Prithviraj Chuahan bore the effect of this issue, press boycotted CM’s press conference. How logical behavior is this?

I would like to share Dr. Abdul Kalam’s Israel visit experience in his words. He quoted, “I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli newspaper. It was the day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken place. The Hamas had struck. But the front page of the newspaper had the picture of a Jewish gentleman who in five years had transformed his desert into an orchid and greenery. It was this inspiring picture that everyone woke up to. The glory details of killings, bombardments, deaths, were inside in the newspaper, buried among other news. In India we only read about death, sickness, terrorism, crime. Why are we so NEGATIVE?”. Dr. Kalam pointed out positive attitude of the Israeli media and questioned that why Indian media is so negative? Rather than spreading good and quality news, they are always spreading bad news.

Supreme Court judge G S Singhvi quoted that “judges could possibly be influenced by such extensive media coverage”; similar incidence happened with Anna Hazare. He followed the good coverage of Gujarat state and praised Narendra Modi without knowing the rural area (un)development.

Govt. should ban on the news channels like India TV and newspaper like Sandhyanand for telecasting and publishing misleading news. The counter effect of such misleading and fake news from such channels and newspapers makes adverse effect on people’s mind.

Personally, I do believe that media is the most excellent way to earn good and in depth (general) knowledge but unfortunately they failed to share such knowledge through news. I appreciate CNN-IBN’s “Citizen Journalist” program, an integrated program which fills the gap between citizen and media. Also, NDTV’s “Save Tiger” is a nice step towards the nature conservation. Dr. Jay Prakash Narayan’s Lokasatta has taken initiative for “Right to Vote”. Divya Marathi’s “Accident less Jalgaon”, accidents in Jalgaon city is a major issue of Jalgaon city. Surely, these efforts will make difference in the society but unfortunately they are so few that you can count them on your fingertips.

Media should have to boost quality of the contents to minimize such slip-ups. Expectation to Indian media is that, they should be more morally and socially RESPONSIBLE because more than 1.21 billion people are following YOU.

The media in India should be more responsible in performing its duty towards the society and concentrate on doing constructive service” - G S Singhvi

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