Why Aren’t They Telling That?

Indian Bloggers

This happened while watching the Chennai floods coverage on TV the other night.

News: Bad governance in Chennai, areas are flooded, people are in trouble, there is a shortage of food etc etc. 

Daughter: Did people die in Chennai?

Husband: Perhaps.

Daughter: Then why aren’t they telling that?

I did not know whether to laugh at my five year old’s exasperation or cry at the macabre expectation she had. One thing I did know though. Our media is extremely insensitive in their coverage and commentary. I understand that the media houses are here to make profits. But they forget that due to the sheer nature of their work, they become opinion leaders of the society. Why can’t they be mindful of that?

There is this forward doing rounds on social media these days that compares the media coverage between the Mumbai and Paris attacks. It goes something like –

  1. There was no news showing dead bodies and blood
  2. There were no statements by other political parties condemning the government
  3. There were no journalists shoving the mike in front of frightened people asking them how they were feeling

While I have not watched the Paris coverage extensively, I can’t comment if any of the above happened, I can say one thing for sure. In Indian media, the shows I saw where parallels were drawn between the Mumbai and the Paris attacks, the entire focus was to belittle the Indian authorities for the way they handled the scenarios. I did not see any reference to the fact that Indian media covered the whole operation ‘LIVE’.

I clearly remember the I&B ministry had to request the news channels to back off and not show the live coverage because this was hampering the operations and helping the attackers. If that was not irresponsible, what was?

What do you guys think about the state of Indian media? Do you like me also think that is currently full of Pseudo-Intellectuals and Screaming Psychos?

I can’t help think back of the twitter conversation with my friend Suman (@Suman_kher), who says Bloggers can change the world. Now that I think about it, I do believe that bloggers are really doing the job of traditional media! What are your thoughts on this? Do let me know.

17 thoughts on “Why Aren’t They Telling That?”

    1. Thank you Ravi… I agree that they are into profit making and am not averse to that. They are completely insensitive to the negative impact they make!

  1. I can not comment on Indian media, as I live in the United States. But I had the opportunity to see national coverage of a local situation – a mass shooting near where I work in upstate New York, that took the lives of 14 people (including the shooter). It wasn’t terrorism. It was all over (although no one knew it then) in a matter of moments. But still…what is getting me upset now after the “latest terrorism incident” is the constant speculation about what is going to happen next. This bothers me a lot more than live coverage.

    1. You brought about a very good point Alana. The speculation, guessing games, the so called experts debating… all of this does exactly what terrorists are out to do. Instil fear in the hearts of people. As bad if not worse that live coverage!

  2. Even in India, in some states like Tamil Nadu the media is not free and fair. Some journalists are afraid that they may face the wrath of the the dictators as poor poet ‘Kovan’ is facing…!

  3. You have a point there.. There was live coverage to help terrorists..
    I feel sad Reading this but it is very right to say that bloggers can do bring about change if they want. Maybe the magnitude will not be that great at first but then even small acts lead to the bigger picture in the long run.

    1. That is right. We present a diversity of views without being in your face. If all bloggers think so and do not shy away from sharing opinions, we can indeed bring about a change…

  4. Media everywhere is a confused bunch. They focus on the sensational instead of the human stories although there are a few here and there that make us believe there is hope.

    1. The few are very few Kalpanaa… very few indeed. I remember there was an initiative by some new channel to show ‘happy stories’ at prime time. They were human interest stories mainly but they were all stories with a happy ending. I was very appreciative of this but they have stopped it now. So I dont really have that much hope 🙁

  5. In the name of diversification and profit making, media has forgotten its true responsibility. 70% of the print newspapers are advertisements, advertorials and influencer articles. Many views are biased. The spirit of investigative journalism has given way to sensationalism and commercialisation.. Sad state!!
    Must say, such an accute observation by the super kiddo!

    1. She is super! Surprises me at least once a day 🙂 But then, all mothers will say that..

      I stopped reading the newspaper a long time ago due to this. TV news too is so biased. You see a few shows and you can easily guess the political leaning of the channel. Sad state indeed!!

  6. Hi five, babe! Bloggers can and will change the world! Thanks for writing this post and putting out there how imbecile our traditional media has become. You are so right in pointing out that Paris attacks had no live coverage. Their media did not go overdrive for weeks to critically dissect and comment on who did what during the crisis. The very live coverage of Mumbai attacks that we take pride in turned out to be detrimental to national security! While our media was happily trying to prove itself brave by risking their reporters’ lives at the attack site, our enemies were laughing away to glory at the free, live footage being provided to them to do their jobs better – dodge the commandos and kill a few more innocent people. Our media, especially, has mastered the art of going on and on about the same thing rather than showing what’s true, useful or informative. They don’t seem to understand what even a 5 year old gets!

    I think that the news channels have completely lost it! Not that I watch TV much but from whatever little I catch up with, I can say that news doesn’t make sense anymore. The discussions which should be informative and unbiased are more like sitting in judgement against people. Making a national hero out of a screaming anchor – who’s job should be exactly the opposite – is laughable! As I understand, the current state of affairs is because we have too many news channels and too little news! So, a kid falling into a ditch happily gives news rooms employment for the next 6 hours! As a viewer, do I want to watch it? No. Do I have a choice. No. Because I flip the channel and there are more morons making a fool of themselves calling some random shit, news!

    I am not sure if social media does justice to reporting correctly. But we shall leave that discussion for another day!

    1. I agree with what you are saying here. One or two channels sensationalising and a few keeping it real would be much better. They are then catering to the whole market.. Problem however is that every channel is a clone of another and people like you and me who are looking for facts or intelligent opinions have nowhere to go.

  7. Certainly the media in the west is much better than in our part of the world!

    As far as change via blogging is concerned, I don’t think that is possible in India. We had so much of an uproar after Delhi rape case. What happened as a result? Nothing!
    Ours is a corrupt nation full of politics! Makes me feel bad too, but can’t help!

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know your thoughts :)