/ Thoughts

Media <=> People

I happened to open news early in the morning. Almost ignoring headlines of India, I hovered to other nations' news. Interestingly, hardly 1 headline out of the top 10 news in almost every country is about politics. Rarely, there are reports that some XYZ made a remark on ABC, etc. All the news was focussed from the crucial government decisions to a successful scientific or business deal.

While turning the pages back to India's news paper and tuning to India's news channels, the scrolling continuously talks about how politicians reacted, what comment did they make on some other person, who scolded whom and a lot of bullshit. I appreciate this kind of news once in every 5 years when elections are nearby and people start campaigning with rules out of the box. But, what's the necessity of this when the elections just ended? Ok! Politicians are fools. Most of them are just douche-bags. But what happened to the media projecting the news?

In India, the things worth scrolling in news channels are way beyond imagination. We do have successful entrepreneurs, scientists, mathematicians, research and a lot of stuff to buzz about. But media projects only three things, mainly. One of them is politicians, secondly bollywood and third cricket. Recent days, cricket and politics news have been merged to some extent. Bollywood always plays crucial role in everything.

TV9, one of the leading news channels in Andhra Pradesh, known for the most of the state, is a news channel which has nothing in the mind when it goes to cover news. If a person was murdered, the channel reporters go to their family within next 10-15 minutes and ask how they are feeling.
Seriously? Is that even common sense?
On a day, two engineers were kidnapped by terrorists in Assam and they demanded for Rs.20cr. Our brave TV9 went to the family of the kidnapped people, interviewed each of them for 2 minutes and made it as "EXCLUSIVE TV9" news article. Why? Is media helping a common man or is it more of a threat without common sense?

TV9 is chosen just for example purpose. All channels fall in the same jar.

Today, an average Indian knows about Sharukh Khan's personal life than his own wife! I mean, does it really matter for the media if Hrithik and Suzanne are getting divorced? Not going by strict statistics, one can safely assume that there are atleast 10 deaths a day, 10 accidents a day, 10 divorces a day and on the top of all, 10 successful stories a day!

When a woman is raped, media covers the full story of family of the victim and what situation the family currently is in. They also cover how their family members are crying. The woman's picture is featured as headline of the day in all the leading news papers the very next day. Later, when the accused are found, the news move to 7th or 8th page to a small section. The details of the accused are hidden inorder to respect their privacy. No, they never dare to ask parents of the person who raped, how they feel about their son! And hence, media is playing it's own crucial role in promoting crime.
A person can dare to do rape if he is sure that his name is not going out and already cold blooded enough to ignore girl's sufferings!

A celebrity was caught in prostitution brothel. The celeb's name is public everywhere, thanks to her reputation as national awardee, it adds sensation.
Well, what makes a celebrity? Media is the only thing behind making a person celebrity. If no media, no one gives a damn about her national award, nor her prostitution. She is an actress and we are audience. End of the story.
Are celebs really bound to forget about personal life once they enter politics, cricket or bollywood? Do we possibly here much about personal lives of any big shots of business about their personal lives? Why are they not being celebs? Media didn't expose them!

What media answers is that, they show what people want to see. Because all they want to increase is TRP (I don't even know its full form!). Now, there's a deadlock.**
Media shows what people want to see. People see what media shows.**

It so happened that Reliance industries limited opened a gas based project in a place where 1000 families of fishermen used to live. They came, occupied their land, extracted gas and led wastages to sea. They had their factory constructed. And all 1000 families had nothing left to live in and on! Houses are no more and fishes are no more, thanks to wastages! And then no media talked about all those families but there was a highlighted news when Ambani came for opening it. So, if one person has money and kills 10 for more money, media will make that person a celebrity and those 10 killed are nowhere. For people striving to be financially successful and gain reputation, this is a shortcut!

The social media is better in this context. Dare I say that! It's even worse. MH370 goes missing along with 239 passengers and within seconds, we can see spam posts on Facebook claiming "MH370 found!"
A girl gets raped and within minutes, there are 3 different spam pictures rolling on internet that it was her photo. If all we are doing is spam, why don't we spam with links like "This is the person who raped" along with pictures? In a way, social media just promotes the victim.
And then, there is Ebola outbreak in some continent far away from our coast. A person dies here out of some other reason. There comes a news saying that the person died with Ebola. Irony is there'll be some useless added medicinal tips to avoid Ebola. It'll get more than a lakh shares. Some media claims that it is prank. It'll get less than a 1000 shares. Why can't people bother to verify the news before sharing?

The same goes with the mistaken news of news papers. They print the false news on the first day, defame someone to a greater extent. Then, after receiving correct news, they either ignore it or send it to 7th or 8th pages. Negativity spreads faster.

Also, social media heavily contributes to false belief in people. They claim that an employee in Frooti company had a cut on his finger and a drop came in frooti. He had aids, don't drink Frooti! It somehow promoting even educated people to think that it's true. Obviously, illiterates believe it directly. The same social media promotes such false practices, false news and no one really bothers about apologizing to their false news. And also, no one really goes through apology post as much as the original news.

Adding to this, one interesting observation is, people write something against an article and attach the link for the article. Most of the people click on link, ignore the "description" written and go for the link!
In the above mentioned celeb's case, a news article, which exposed celeb, is being attached with the description "Why don't media promote other accused? Etc." As human psychology works, they give least preference to text when there is an image, link and text on a page.
(To test it for yourself, open a science book random page and see what catches your eye first.)
So, what's the solution? One suggestion is to remove thumbnails as far as possible for a link, if you're writing against it.
Other suggestion, take some time and write an article of your own. Share it!

In short, there must be a change in people or media. Change from one way guarantees change from other way too. After all, people drive media and media drive people.

Change in people, in India, is certainly challenging. We can't make most of the educated persons understand that they are wrong. After all, all they know is that they're educated and know everything. They promote that what we are saying is wrong, to illiterates and hence, they also stop believing us. That's how humanity works.

Change in media, in India, is certainly not easy but doable. To a great extent, social media is working quite well in some respects. So, we can change the media with progress. We can change what people see instead of showing them what they want to see.

Ofcorse, there are positives of media too. But, no one appreciates them as negatives are highlighted in media.

Ignorance is a never a bliss unless we are selfish. People should act and react!