(GHN), New Delhi, Tuesday, 24, May, 2016. This article reflects the opinions of the Indian people on professionalism & other aspects of the Indian Main Stream Media. It is based on discussions & impressions of an average Indian who is at best confused, horrified & disgusted with the Indian Media, yet is forced to helplessly watch this great spectacle of false/manipulated news and fiendish rapacious journalism play out against his/her will.
Often the Media is termed as a fourth pillar of democracy. One hopes for and wishes to see honesty, transparency and truthfulness in reporting. However, in the world today, the general population of the world has an impression that it has become increasing difficult to experience this in real life. Perhaps, in some parts of the world, Journalism may still maintain high standards—but in context to the Indian Media, Indian journalism definitely cannot be termed as a pillar of democracy—especially the Indian English Media. Rather it has come to be looked upon as a chronic viral infection that cannot be treated and is the cause for many a rift, argument and cause for problems.
When we speak of Journalists here, we are not referring to the scores of youngsters who work as the foot soldiers, who do most of the technical and ground work but we speak about the journalists who are well established in the Media as anchors and Journalists who are often in the public limelight, who are often the decision makers and manipulators of this news.
An average Indian opines that the Indian Media is mostly unprofessional, manipulative, arrogant, dishonest, biased and deceitful in its reporting. The worst are the anchors of numerous TV channels who suffer severely from megalomania, incompetence, arrogance considering them as having become the Judges, the Prosecutors, the Witnesses, the Jailers and the Executioners all rolled up in one. Their idea of journalism is closer to a witch hunt, not even a trial, to which they, in the first place never had a right to.
These Anchors and Journalists are so arrogant that they invite people for an interview, a debate or a gathering, fire questions at them without giving the invitee a chance to answer a question while often demeaning them by cutting them short with another question. They force their biased opinions on invitees and excel at rudeness, humiliation and insult. They are always in a manufactured rush, never giving anyone adequate time to answer the question. The questions are usually extremely abrasive, illogical and deliberately full of logical fallacies. The anchors have a countenance and a manner that fails any look or attempt to appear serene while perhaps being much closer to that of an executioner in an aggressive mood. Almost any interview is often merely a deliberate hit and run job. Often, numerous anchors and journalists are outright toxic and obnoxious in their approach & style. Most seem to have actually worked hard to develop that style. The channels for their part drag the news items, into a morass to senselessness, while trying to extract their pound of flesh from a molehill that they paint into a mountain. The news is repeated continuously on the channels, as the channel has little imagination of what better to use such time for. The value of time in their eyes remains fit only for hit & run jobs but not for any real serious investigative journalism or serious result oriented debates or discussions. Such poor unprofessional journalism has become the standard of the Indian Media, especially the English Media. So low is this standard that the word ‘professional’ evades not just their ‘Dictionary’, but as a matter of fact, it entirely evades even their very ‘Vocabulary’.
During an interview or a debate, as one sees & listens to the hapless interviewees, one gets an impression that the pattern of questioning of the interview; thrust mercilessly on the persecuted interviewee and an often bewildered, bruised & traumatized general public who alike neither wants nor accepts this style of questioning as very abrasive, undignified and inhuman. Contrary to whatever the Indian media may think or believe, the people of India actually hate this and have begun hating the journalists as well. This is reflected in their protests and opinions that are most visible on social media platforms. Unfortunately, the Indian Media has intricately worked out a primitive predatory Jungli Journalistic standard that aims to cannibalize the interviewee or the invitee rather than conduct a meaningful dialogue. To hack violently into bits and pieces, the sanctity, personality and character of any and all participants with utter disregard for any human values of kindness and compassion or even of honesty & truthfulness in reporting. The viciousness of this uncivilized approach parallels that of a psychopath as there is an utter disregard to who or what the person is, or how hard he or she may have worked to get there, or what they may have achieved or how many people in real life they may have benefitted or cared for. This kind of vulturine Journalism aims at demolishing the reputation, character, work & achievement of any individual who falls into its hands, thus essentially becoming its victim, unless money has passed hands. Whereas, a very tough & negative approach may be needed to question an inhuman dictator or a corrupt leader however treating all persons in such a savage manner cannot be termed as reporting. In terms of treatment, there are off course, the exceptions of those persons who appear to pay the media and hence become the darling of their eyes. This type of journalism can at the kindest be termed as malevolent pseudo-journalism. It is very similar to the British Colonial Rule in India, when the Law was theirs, the Police was theirs, the Courts were theirs, the Judges were theirs, the Lawyers were theirs, the Witnesses were theirs, the Judgment was theirs and the Punishment was theirs. And you-the prosecuted and the general public could all but suffer in a deeply injured distressed silence enforced by the fear of a larger punishment, as the very sham of a mega-drama of Justice played out in front of your helpless eyes.
That in turn points to an even larger problem of manipulation of news & there have been cases, through blackmail and it’s like. The uprightness & honesty that is lacking in the Indian Media becomes visible through the large cracks in its uncivilized demeanor and dishonest behavior. That, the Indian Media is full of fake and biased news, which can be manipulated for financial gain, has become to be an accepted fact and a large section of the public no longer believes the Main Stream Media, perhaps with the exception of a few journalists who have a strong reputation for honesty. But what is more stunning is that a large section of these anchors & journalists who are fake, conceited, toxic and obnoxious are thrust upon a general public that cries out iron tears at their very sight. How does this come to Be? What system of free market is at work that let’s such an inequity happen? Or Is it that the entire main stream media news is fabricated & manipulated?
Also how does the Indian Main Stream Media dare to fabricate, publish and propagate outright lies? Through which equation of free market economics are these so called Journalists able to go against popular opinion while fabricating & promoting fake opinions? How is that persons who are guilty of sedition are projected as heroes by the Media, while the real heroes are ignored and converted into insignificant zeroes? The smart public of India has caught the Media red handed while lying and these posts have made their way all over the social media. But the Main Stream Media has become shameless and unabashed at being caught with its pants down. This shamelessness has resulted in the coining of very unhealthy and unsavory terms for Indian Main Stream Media & Journalists that has gained wide popularity in India. It is indeed very unfortunate that the terms ‘Presstitutes’ & ‘News Traders’ should become to be used as acceptable terms for the Indian Journalists. Does it not reflect on the ghastly state of affairs in which the Indian Media is today?
Nowadays people always take to social media to confirm the news that is reported by Main Stream Media. The media has forgotten that the public is neither stupid nor ill informed. Neither is this the decade where news can be hidden, manipulated or suppressed to fit the agenda of its indirect employers who silently manipulate the media with their money. In this age of internet, all news eventually makes it to social media platforms, where it is disseminated to every corner of the globe with little or almost no controls on its boundaries, and all this—within seconds. The news is then discussed and dissected by very able and intelligent people worldwide to get to the bottom of the truth & to form a well debated, balanced and informed opinion. The truth eventually does get revealed. In this age of internet & instant communications, why do the media believe that it can continue to influence people into accepting fake news? And moreover what makes Media persons continue to behave in a rancorous, hostile and mala-fide manner?
The time has come for the Indian Main Stream Media to pay close attention to its content, to behave in a proper and bona-fide manner, to become really professional and truthful or it will find itself in a losing battle with social media. The Main Stream Media is pitted against the entire resources of global citizens who are present in all corners of this world, who form the general public, with all their learning, with their pooled experiences, and diverse training, none of which main stream media can combat. If the Main Stream Media is not actively able to adapt itself to speak and write the truth, it will be replaced largely with the social media which will eat away into its credibility and financial viability while making it redundant.
For the reference of the reader here are some links to articles on Indian Journalism that may be interesting: