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Publicity seeking public feed the news-hungry media

Publicity seeking public feed the news-hungry media
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In the good old days, one wrote laborious letters to the editor of a newspaper in the hope that they would get published. Later, newspapers started special sections where readers could ventilate their grievances. With the explosion of satellite television, 24 x 7 news channels had to find stories by the hour

In the good old days, one wrote laborious letters to the editor of a newspaper in the hope that they would get published. Later, newspapers started special sections where readers could ventilate their grievances. With the explosion of satellite television, 24 x 7 news channels had to find stories by the hour. Breakfast news got stale by noon and what you saw over lunch ceased to be news by dinner time.


The common man now has a new friend — the media. Tools of the mass media viz newspaper, TV channels have become the latest saviours of the public. The public turns to media in times of distress. There was a time when media had to wait for news to break. But now, every trivial issue becomes news. There's a breaking story by the minute. Very often all that 'breaks' is your poor heart at the trivialization of news.


For instance: A lady in a fit of rage, hits her husband. Someone from the neighbourhood calls a TV channel. The media crew reaches the spot in no time. Now, the incident is over but what the channel needs to give its TRPs a much-needed boost is some drama. The reporter quickly asks for a 'once more' performance or checks with one of the onlookers for recorded evidence and bingo, he got the story of the Day. The incident is played ad nauseam through the day, with repeated shots of the slap!


Now, you realise what happens on news channels too is no less than what goes on in a reality show. The difference, ofcourse is that this is live telecast! The wife is thrilled to see herself being portrayed as the Jhansi ki Rani, while the poor husband is far from happy for being shown in poor light as the villain. Yes, it's wrong on the part of TV channels to play up a trivial issue, but the public too must be equally blamed for the situation.


In the present day and age, it's easy for the public to just make one call to any of the many TV channels to get some protection and publicity. In such a case, the I&B ministry's advice to media would be to exercise restraint. But what about the average viewer? Isn't he supposed to show some social responsibility and not go overboard?


It's always easy to blame the media for creating hype over nothing. However, considering the kind of world we are in, it's not wrong to say that the public too craves for attention. As a result, what we get is a 'Peepli Live' situation in channel after channel on a 24x7 basis.

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