By Pranali Batra
‘Constant vigilance’ is the ideal catchphrase to describe the media today. Like a bloodhound true to its scent, the media is forever alert and sniffs out stories from every corner of the nation. If it had not been for the media, many manipulative and deceitful acts of the leaders as well as the citizenry would remain undisclosed to the country at large. Thus, the media undeniably performs a vital function today.
Media is fast becoming the ‘parallel justice deliverance’. In a country where the judicial process takes several years to draw to a conclusion, media rescues by becoming the light at the end of an otherwise long and dark tunnel. By divulging the truth, media assumes the role of factual narrator. By heatedly discussing and debating the issue concerned it enables us to form our own and often accurate judgment.
Yet as the famous saying goes-‘All that glitters is not gold’. Bias in reporting, seen at times favouring a particular party while reporting facts, is inexcusable since it violates the most basic expectation from the media- objectivity. The media is rather fond of sensationalizing or giving undue importance to trivial or superfluous news items, simply to add masala to them. The big font flashed on the front page of the national daily begging you to take notice and the excessive use of the words ‘breaking news’ for everything from a petty thievery to a new scam being unearthed, all exaggerated to humungous proportions. This is commercialization of media- selling their news by distorting facts to rake in moolah.
The media possesses tremendous power, both to inform as well as to influence the people of the nation. It must therefore be socially responsible towards the citizens and accept the duty that comes with its rights. Media has the power to bring about a change. One example of the misuse of social media to spread terror among the North Eastern citizens shows the terrifying degree of power the media has to sway the masses. The appalling consequences were for all to see when ultimately, imposing a restriction on social media proved to be the only way out of this disastrous situation.
Yes, the media does succeed in notifying and then discussing lapses of the government in detail, yet what is distressing is that instead of pursuing the issue to its conclusion, it moves onto ‘new stories’. The public memory too is short. Ultimately, the corrupt and the incompetent get away with their wrongdoings and even the media decides to move on to fresher and more significant reporting.
However, media is our key to the world’s information. It is education and entertainment rolled into one. Today, hardly exists an educated man who does not look forward to his early morning paper or the daily 9 o’clock news’.
Bane or Boon- it’s indispensable!