M – Media | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z
There are four pillars of the Indian Democracy – Judiciary, Executive, Legislature and Press. With the evolution and with technology taking over along with the bombardment of media houses and news channels, I believe the fourth pillar can now be called ‘Media’.
The main role of the fourth pillar is impartial reporting and creating transparency of how the other three pillars are performing, spreading awareness till the last village of India and informing every citizen what is happening in the country in the political, economic and social spectrum.
In an ideal democracy for proper functioning, all these pillars should perform efficiently and independently. Each of the pillars should be given equal importance and no one should dominate any other. In America, judiciary overpowers everyone and in UK it’s the legislature that is the dominant force. Hence the question arises – Is the media playing its role properly?
Ownership of media houses plays a critical role in deciding which way their narrative and propaganda will be inclined. How can one ensure transparency, honesty and fairness when the owner of an established and renowned media house gets a Rajya Sabha ticket from a political party? It is impossible to expect it.
As of now, there are more than 400 news channels including regional language ones. This makes them among the most powerful tools and with its activity becomes the center of every other pillar; their integrity holds even more importance. But everyone has their own loyalty and their own agenda.
With the advent of social media, the touch points are massive and uncontrollable. They have taken over the courts as well through their way of media justice and media trials. They are pronouncing decisions even before the matter reaches a trial court. This rising trend of handing out verdict isn’t democratic in any sense.
Even managed properly it has some positives too. Movements like ‘MeToo’ movement gathered momentum and unearthed so many heinous habitual offenders because of social media and its reach. But then again, their job is to report and then let the law take its course. With the majority of the population engaging in trolling, its usage is becoming tremendously taxing for mental health.
Something that started as a boon to the society has started turning into a bane – and it is not long before social media will lose the ‘social’ aspect of it.
Media should be playing a more progressive and constructive role in a developing country like ours, which is going through a major transition phase. They should be the voice of the largest democracy in the world and take ownership of their issues and causes. Instead, the media does the exact opposite by simply curbing the voice of the common man and creates noise about the existing propaganda and narratives.
A poor urchin falls into a bore well and everything comes to a standstill for the next 48 hours. A leading Bollywood celebrity visits court and the media goes into a frenzy. The last time something like this happened, the SC was handing out a verdict on a CM but there was hardly any coverage. I am now sure that when something like this happens, the deafening noise is created to subdue a very important matter directly concerning the public.
If you are dedicatedly running shows on the happenings of daily soaps and then I will not shy away from saying, but that’s not reporting – that is bullshit entertainment for TRPs. News like where a monkey pulls the tail of a lion – I think these sort of programs should be left to animal planets of the world.
For hours they run advertisement shows of God men just because they are paying you massively, forgetting that in a way all they are doing is promoting superstitions.
Wait for the cricket world cup to start – Instead of reporting about the matches, the newsrooms will convert into cricket pitches where every tom dick and harry would be advising what should be the next move of the captain. The educated class, at least, should understand that these are just mere diversion tactics so that the people of the country are distracted from the real issues.
They were supposed to report the news rather than creating news. These days they are just looking for opportunities to create news without even checking the credibility of the information and in the process, giving rise to a new vertical of ‘Fake news’.
Since the use of the word ‘pseudo’ is in fashion I think I can take the liberty of calling many of the news anchors behaving like pseudo spokespersons of the political parties. There is hardly anyone left who can be termed as a neutral reporter who is trying to present a piece of news as per facts.
Read the book, 1984 by George Orwell and you will understand how the media is used on a day-to-day basis by the political machinery to brainwash you. Imagine if social media and the current army of trolls would have been present during the times of Hitler. Honestly, no one can visualize the rampage it would have caused.
Media is supposed to raise voice against oppression and against the current establishment. They should raise voice against the narrative like casteism and Hindu-Muslim divide; rather they are the ones fuelling it. There is hardly any reporting of educational issues, farmer issues, and healthcare issues.
The irony is that on the launch of a new food product there will be hundreds of media personalities covering it, but there would hardly any covering the real issues of those who are growing it.
It also speaks a lot about what kind of viewership it is getting. Higher TRPs for such content means that people are hardly concerned with real issues. It is a high time that we think real hard about what is the kind of content we are watching and what are the issues that directly affect our lives otherwise it will be too late and all we will become are stooges of this maddening noise.
With one pillar so pathetically losing its credibility and integrity it is not long before, the foundation of democracy will be under threat and the signs of which are already becoming more and more visible.
For all those who use social media,
For all those who hate trolling,
For all those who watch the news for news,
For all those who are worried for the current state of media…
It’s not a goodbye,
But it’s a GOOD BYE.
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
This is the 13th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.
Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League
Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘N’
I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.