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betasam's Journal: The Press and Media Fuzz

Journal by betasam
The Indian news media has taken a slow march from bad to worse; (it is the speed I am unsure of.) Press myopia combined with severe tunnel vision is a known phenomenon. However, in the past few weeks it seems to have dilated this stain. Television News media has completely lost any sense of meaning of Live images. It is frequently used on any recorded videos without alerting the viewer; except for the simple note that when the same set of images loop repeatedly through, one knows they are no longer "current" or "live". The media conveniently focuses on a select set of issues claiming to have each done their own journalist work; yet I cannot understand how all New TV channels report the same news. They simply provide no credit to the PTI (Press Trust of India) which is a common source for news.

Recently there was the case of Attempted Murder[?] BJP leader Pramod Mahajan in which too little information was available except that his brother had indeed shot him and he was in a critical condition in the hospital. The rest of the details including the news of the number of bullets, the place of firing, the manner of injuries inflicted and their severity was unknown to the press. No press member had been allowed to reach the premises. The press was reporting gossip, so much so they could not cite the sources of the information they had received. Yet, they were trying to prove their credibility on this worthless information by not stating that these were not dependable reports. The newsprint media (owing to the nature of printed material and laws related to printed material in the nation) take a little more care, and within the next day try to cite sources and in the absence declare it "unconfirmed" which at least provides the reader with some level of information.

Add to this the requesting of SMS votes on irrelevant issues like "Sibling Rivalry" relating it to two major stories touted by the Press - The Ambani divide and presently the attempted murder of Mr. Pramod Mahajan. I say that this is unfair commercial use of the right to voice opinion; the right of expression that a democracy offers. The simple irrelevance of the above events to the issue is the fact that the people concerned are probably amongst the wealthiest in the nation; The events having more to do with political manipulation and possible vendetta (speculating).

I am bound to ask which of this - "Press Censorship" or "Freedom of the Press" is the lesser evil. Right now, by the looks of it, this is a choice between Scylla and Charybdis. I'd rather live with the former and allow Government agencies and concerned spokespersons to provide what would be more diplomatic and far more credible reports of news. Of course we have the freedom to view the Movie channel which at least confesses that all that is shown is indeed fiction or switch off Television sets and avoid news media completely. The nation seems to have all sorts of strikes creating Denial of Service at different levels, polls going on in different states and yet the issues that come to the forefront are those that happen exclusively in front of the Newspaper or News-Television offices or reach their ears without the aid of any intensive journalism. These do appear in small insets on Newsprint many of the time, that they are oft missed by the readers, although their importance is of more concern. Perhaps the less credible blogs are slowly about to win more credibility owing to the folly by the actual press and public information sources.
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The Press and Media Fuzz

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