Rendered in the epic black-and-white Citizen Kane and full of high-quality yellow journalism bullshit; this statement of Charles Foster Kane shows an uncommon ideology of a common media tycoon who loves to swing between power and money.
Where most of the citizens get informed or mold their ideas through newspaper or television; you can imagine how easily a media house can mislead its audiences and manipulate public opinion. The following example is merely a glimpse of it though we want to convince ourselves that this unpardonable act wasn’t committed deliberately.
Let’s jump into the puddle of journalistic shit to know the appalling truth behind this image.
When the emotionally-wrenching flood devastated Kedarnath in 2013, ABP took treachery to a whole new level with a Bolivian video in the backdrop and passing it as an instance from the flood-hit region of Uttarakhand. For the year 2013, ABP’s Shazi Zaman bagged the best editor-in-chief award for his outstanding contribution in shaping the future of news.
Poop over scoop
The pillars of transparency, ethics and public accountability have now collapsed under the insurmountable business pressure as you can see media houses showing whatever they want just only to stay ahead in the horse race of TRP. In its classic era, journalism used to be the synonym of truth, but it has now disgracefully turned into sensationalism (sham, to be honest!).
This is disgusting. Isn’t it?
But what is even more disgusting is that the headline was meant to instigate religious sentiments – a cheap maneuver to get instant pageviews. No doubt, the mall did charge Rs. 20 as an entry fee but it wasn’t for only Muslim visitors. People, irrespective of their religion, were charged to keep a check on the unnecessary crowd flocking to the Himalaya mall in Ahmedabad.
The Times of India is world’s largest selling English daily and its MD, Vineet Jain, has no problem in accepting on record that “We are not in the newspaper business, we are in the advertising business.”
The New Yorker aptly titled its story – Citizens Jain.
Now you can get an idea where we’re going!
The bastardisation of news
Kamlesh Joshi, a deputy commissioner posted in Arunachal Pradesh, went missing along with two pilots when his Pawan Hans helicopter lost its track over the dense jungles of Tirap. A few days later the wreckage of chopper was discovered by the security forces. All were dead.
A 31-year-old IAS of 2010 batch was killed due to the operational insignificance of Pawan Hans, a chopper company, which already has been questioned for turning into a flying coffin for Arunachal CM Dorjee Khandu and 17 others in two separate accidents in 2011.
Joshi was nowhere in the media since it was busy dancing to the tunes of Radhe Maa. We’ll not discuss her chicaneries here.
Recently, Indian Army lost 19 soldiers in a major fire at CAD Camp in Pulgaon which is India’s largest ammunition depot. Among the dead were a Lt. Col. and a Major.
Do you know their names? Do you even care?
You could have been informed but we lost this meaningful debate to a ruckus created by a dude who never ceases to fan out his bakchodi. And yes, he was defended (or highlighted) by a hyper-nationalistic anchor who thinks the nation wants to know whatever he blabs. This is his idea of educating audiences from the newsroom!
The lamestream media
If you’ve recently noticed a change in the quality of news or wondering why real issues are not being covered, you can find a satisfactory answer to this problem in the rapid evolution of social media. The digital disruption has changed the relationship between media houses and audiences (consumers are now becoming news producers) whereas revenue generation has been affected severely.
When actual arguments and breaking news come through citizens on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, one can interpret as to why media outlets are running out of options. In order to keep the show biz running by hook or crook, principles and ethics have been sidetracked by the self-righteous douchebags who claim to have a ‘degree in journalism’.
On the name of news debate, anchors rap like Honey Singh whereas their panelists are nothing more than a bunch of shitfaced orangutans. Collectively, their argument style resembles the stochasticity of the frenzy crowd at a liquor shop 5 minutes before its closing time.
This is a tragedy. Our sad truth.
Social media has been quite successful in breaking the monopoly of oligarchical media system by democratizing the news and allowing users to report a potential news story but still it hasn’t resolved some pressing issues like:
- An important story for someone might be useless to you. You, however, have to tolerate it on your screen.
- The central theme of journalism is truthfulness but it can be easily compromised.
- Readers should be educated but sadly they are exploited with misleading and nonsensical stories.
Us vs Them
As of July 2015, India has mushroomed 403 news channels and it won’t be an exaggeration to say that most of them are backed by corporate bigwigs.
Expecting an authentic and even-handed coverage from these TRP-thirsty psychopaths is surely not a salutary idea but again you might question yourself who to trust?
If you’ve got a basic understanding of news literacy or simply put, you know how to incur actual news from a big bad bundle also comprising propaganda and advertising, then no one can fool you. You just have to trust yourself.
Stories are floating everywhere but most of them fail to get the attention they deserve because you know our media honeydicks love only demographic sweet spots. It’s your job to do justice with such stories.
The outgrowth of technology and availability of handy smartphones with cheap internet connectivity have contributed significantly in changing the underlying characteristics of journalism. You’ve now entered into an era where no one can shut your voice down which was hitherto repressed by the mainstream media.
Who is a true reporter?
Being in the right place at the right time is what you need to be a reporter. An attentive mind is much heavier than a degree. When Osama Bin Laden was killed by the United States Navy SEALs in the wee hours of May 2, 2011, it was Sohaib Athar, an IT consultant, who first reported about it. A resident of Abbottabad, Sohaib noticed the unusual sounds of helicopters and explosions in the night and live-tweeted the event. Later on, the media rushed in for follow-up. A normal citizen was behind breaking one of the biggest anti-terrorism stories of the century. There can’t be any better validation to the fact that you can play a major role in making or breaking a story which can impact the lives of many.