Monday, June 12, 2006 

I think Indian media has come off age. Otherwise what else could explain the way they have redefined the terminology 'BREAKING NEWS". Till a year ago may be, this meant something big, something really big. Like America attacked by Bin Laden or Princess Diana dying in a car crash or India and Pakistan battling it out at Kargil.
But the new dimension given to it by the likes of Aaj Tak, Sahara, Star News, Channel 7 is certainly note worthy. Now, Rakhi Sawant(yes, a third rate wanna be model, singer and I dont know what else, who has been turned into a celebrity) getting kissed(read molested) by Mika, Anu Malik singing for Dawood Abrahim (this went on for weeks), Rahul Mahajan(somebody who didnt exist for anyone of us till 2-3 weeks back) getting admitted to Apollo and subsequently sent to jail have become so important and so relevant to all of us, that all the channels forget about everything else and flash this across day, day out so that we know the minutest of details of each of these incidents.
If you dont believe me, then read the following.
  • Rakhi Sawant has accused Mika of biting her lower lip twice. Pls watch Aaj Tak for a closer look.
  • No friend of Rahul Mahajan has come to meet him at the prison.He has spent sleepless nites in the prison and has made friends with his cell mates.
  • Some girl called Sonal has suddenly come into the scene as she may be having a relationship with Sahil. Sahil who?? That guy who apparently got Cocaine or Heroin to Rahul Mahanjan's house.
Forgive me if I have missed out on any details because honestly I was not paying any attention to any of this. I just happened to know a bit because I was flipping channels to see if I could find something worth watching. And since all the channels were shamlessly showing this as part of their exclusive package, I couldnt help but gather some info(trust me, all this happened while flipping through).
And if all of this wasnt enough, my fav newspaper TOI decided to publish all of this on the front page. Infact, they deserve a special mention for publishing about Raveen Tandon's lost dog eventually found by a TOI correspondent. Man, that guy deserves an award.
But what I really want to understand is that are we being fair to the media by blaming them for all this or is there another angle to it? The fact that despite such low standards of news telling, these channels are doing extremely well, which may mean that people actually enjoy watching all this. After all, the world is not just made of you and me.
And if thats true, then who are these people? I have been a part of this discussion with many people at work or outside. With friends and family and the verdict has been unanimous. The standard of news has gone down so bad, that people have actually stopped watching news channels.
I guess, despite being a part of a country where more than 1 billion people live, one tends to forget that we are a part of a small group. In this case, I am a part of a minority group. People who are looking for some quality news. May be its too much to ask considering our request doesnt have a mass appeal or may be there is a real shortage of quality journalists such as Vir Sanghvi, Prannoy Roy, Rajdeep Sardesai etc etc.
Since no solution was coming through, I have decided to stick to the net. Till date, that has not been polluted....Woops. did I say it too soon??

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