Flip over the pages of any national daily or a website or a television news channel and try to
note down the news reports which you think really have impact and so everyone should know,
list down the reports which you think are necessary. Do this and you’ll realize that most of the
news you read or watch is irrelevant.
No wait, before you start blaming media and yell upon them try thinking why do they prefer
Bollywood, entertainment, film or sport stars, astrology or fashion over issues which are
actually important and thus should have been news.
Why do this happen?
We need money to run everything. Media houses are no exception. They cannot run their
shows and channels if they are incurring losses. No advertiser will consider them if there are no
good TRPs. And so they need people to watch their channels. With this the need arises of
broadcasting or publishing what people (the audience) are interested in. And what people need
is masala or entertainment. Ask yourself first. Why do you always prefer to read or watch about
who wore Manish Malhotra’s dress in #AkashwedsShloka? Or why are we more interested to
know about Mira Rajput’s pregnancy or Taimur Ali Khan’s latest pictures?
In 2006 when a boy named Prince fell into a borewell in Haryana, a whole buzz was created out
of it. News channels went crazy to cover it and everyone was watching it on their television.
According to a report of The Caravan, the same night, India TV broadcasted about a terrorist
who was wanted in India but was caught in Nairobi but nobody watched it. After all, we paid
much more attention to Prince than a terrorist. Similarly, when the actress Sridevi died, Hindi
news channel Aaj Tak broadcasted a program called ‘Maut ka Bathtub’ (Bathtub of Death).
While the program was going on the news at the bottom of the channel mentioned about a
grenade attack at a police station in Jammu and Kashmir. But for at least couple of days what
we watched was only the funeral of Sridevi, her works and life.
So, what should we do?
If you want media houses to show the issues that really matter, if you want news channels to
talk about Indian economy and political condition, if you want broadcasting of GST’s impact in
its first year, you need to firstly change your priorities.
We need to start preferring to watch shows and read news which actually is impactful and thus
matter. There are a lot many environmental, social, economic and political problems that need
to be acknowledged and addressed. Acknowledgment is the first step towards the e solution.
Once we understand this and watch/read news in these regards, the reversal process will start.
TRPs of such shows will be high in comparison to something like ‘Paida hote hi bol pada baccha’
or ‘kaise bina khana khaye jeete hai yeh baba’. Therefore the news channels will also start to
work towards presenting sensible news.
Our first step will be the beginning of change. Read and watch something that matters and not
something which is cliche.
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