Tuesday, August 07, 2007

hijack by the fourth estate

off late the Indian media has been showing all non - sensical irrelevant stories and serving them through their national and international platforms as - news contents. there was a time when almost every body with little brain would find it fashionable to criticize ekta kappor and company's productions. i am sure more than at least half of them would secretly watch the late night shows of the same stories.
but this one is not one of the many criticizm posts on the daily dose of our mummy jis's and auntiji's idea of entertainment.
it is about news channels. the Hindi ones have been showing all total absolute filthy obscene non sense. and the question is why and how dare they???
are we concerned what is happening in some one's private life, okay if that someone happens to be a celebrity, politician, film star- one can still give some credit to its claim to be in the news. but not the rest. i guess all those who have been viewing star and aaj tak for some time would follow what am i talking about
worst still is these two channel's obsession with showing all sort of ghastly murders, crimes, and even super- natural non sense that sometimes the contents are even below the ones which a cheap c grade movie may perhaps be comprising of. (actually never watched one, but i have watched these news channels)

my concern is : if there is any censor policy applicable to these widely watched vernacular (free to air) news channels keeping an eye on their: contents, objectives and implications for public morality and decency and order??? i think there is an urgent need for some regulating authority to be present and actively filter out the nonsense because the worst part of this menace is they are present 24-7 in the name of 'news'.
and what about the moral responsibility of the these channel wallas. what is so grotesque about market compulsions and profit motives operating within the rapidly shrinking attention span of modern city life that is pushing these media houses to stoop down to such levels? i am more than certain that any normal, sensible, educated person (which these media professionals certainly are) can feel that what is being presented as news of such importance so as to be shown in national free to air channels.....is not worth even mention.
a need for a comprehensive and 24 - 7 vigilant censor policy is all the more required because unlike the daily soaps, the news channels are known, accepted and expected to be showing the real- life truth rather than fiction.

perhaps critically a much wider question is
do they own no moral responsibility for being the 'fourth estate'??? they get to critize the state, the civil society and even transgress the public - private divide to 'report' the private too; but the critical question is who in turn regulates/controls them?
in the name of preservation of democracy, how much of a free hand can be offered to this agency? who regulates it but the ones whom it seeks to monitor and influence - yes, it is us the public, whose opinion it seeks to articulate and aggregate. it is within the (de-facto) power and moral responsibility of civil society to set limits to offensively over-expanding media's perepheries.