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Where does the buck stop for the Indian media?

7.85K   //    28 Mar 2015, 00:22 IST
Times Now’s post-match show

“He was so casual in his interview”, ”He doesn’t feel bad about losing the world cup”, ”He wasn’t even apologetic”. These are some of the allegations that were thrown at Mahendra Dhoni when India lost the match against Australia. To an extent all of this was fine – because let’s face it,the Indian Captain is and will always remain an enigma to anyone who is not close to him.

The unflustered demeanour that he has maintained throughout his career has invited some flak whenever the team has been on the losing end. But the media overstepped the line when it started speculating that Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma’s relationship was the reason beind Kohli’s dismissal. Personal questions were being raised and some pretty preposterous accusations were being made. Players who were kept on a pedestal just a day back were now getting mowed to the ground by the same individuals.

What has happened to the English news channels?

For a while now it’s a given that Hindi news channels have fed on the fact that they’re being followed by a mass population, and so populist news with an added dose of sensationalism has been the way to go for them.

This is where the English news channels used to bring a bit of credibilty by keeping the sensationalism in check and focussing more on the content. But apparently with the  rise of Arnab Goswami’s “loud and incomprehensible” style of media, the English channels have botched up big time as well.

It’s almost like they’ve unlocked a secret about how to sell their news and the apparent secret is being loud and disrespectful towards the guests who they bring in during their discussion shows. The amount of mudslinging that the Indian team was subjected to was shocking. Anushka Sharma was made a guinea pig in all this and the media used her as a source of distraction for Kohli. Without any apparent proof the batsman’s personal life was thrown out in the open and feasted upon.

The team was blamed to have not put in the best. The whole campaign was annihilated even though just 24 hours back the same bunch was portrayed as the future world champs.

Where do we draw the line?

Let’s face the facts here, sensationalism sells more than anything. When mountains are made out of molehills it works like a charm. But somewhere down the line the moral responsibilty that comes with being part of the media has been diminishing big time. The problem here is that when you have a voice that reaches out to a billion people you have the power to influence them in a positive or negative way.

By fluctuating with their own opinions at the turn of a clock and using the terms “India wants to know“ is confusing the audience and that’s not really what media is supposed to be doing. Let’s be honest here, there’s  a reason why Australia haven’t lost to India in the last 4 months, they’ve simply been the better side, we were always the underdogs and it really had to be India’s day to beat Australia – which just didn’t happen.

What role do we play here?

Somewhere down the lime it would come down to how the viewer(us) responds to what is telecast on these news channels. Statistically speaking, Times Now is currently the best English news channel and what it has been thriving on has been the similar ‘loud and incomprehensible’ journalism from Arnab Goswami, that has.slowly trickled down to the other factions – including the sports section, and the result is for all to see.

If such kind of media isn’t viewed by the viewer or is opposed then will it be broadcast? If a positive feedback is not given by the viewer then can such kind of journalism flourish? Food for thought.

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