News and newspapers have always been central to my daily life, but it wasn’t until I started working for media houses that I began looking at the process of delivering news as a form of art. There is speculation, quite often followed by a conformation, followed by fact gathering and then the delivery either in print form or in audio visual form. Now, that is the basics of reporting – speculation, conformation and fact gathering – or at-least that was what I was taught and that is what I have practiced all this while. But that form of news reporting is on the wane. That form of news delivery is now classified as boring and often mundane. What people want is action, breaking news – sansani tez khaber!
The sober and classy act of news reporting over a period of time has undergone a sea of change;gone are the days of idealism, intellectualism and sincerity. Gone are the days when journalists wore ragged clothes and sported a beard and toga/jhola. Gone are the days when journalists made a hand to mouth living. Gone are the days when confirmation and fact gathering was done. Everyone’s an expert.
News reporting is the next big thing after bollywood, every failed actor/actress who knows a word or two of English makes is making it big in media. And why not, even though they are dumb they look good, and they are confident – they can hold a mic, face the camera and speak in English. Well that’s not all that has changed, the art of news delivery has undergone an even drastic change, news rooms are no longer sober looking rooms, they’ve gone hi-fi – big plasma screens, hundreds of acrobatics trained camera men, lights, computer generated graphics, music directors, choreographers, art directors, script writers and what not. News delivery is turning out to be even more difficult than making a B grade bollywood flick and leading the pack are India TV, Aaj Tak, Headlines Today and Times Now.
Its hard to believe that a crucial and perhaps the most powerful and autonomous pillar of democracy, the media, is undergoing such drastic degradation. I mean what is the logic of showing tantra vidya on news channel? Of showing the existence of a goat who people claim is the descendant of some long dead emperor? I mean for days I been seeing news anchors predicting Islamabad being captured by Taliban any minute, all this while foreign security experts politely call these claims stupid. What shit are these guys on? What on earth have they been smoking?
I have always held a firm belief that reporting ought to be dispassionate and in such a manner that the reporter’s opinion are not reflected on the report that is to say that a news report should not in any way be biased, it is the public that ought to ponder over a news report and formulate its own opinion. Well, what we see here is a bunch of uneducated, superstitious freaks on a drug trip of their own. I mean, what are they contributing to the society if not their own fears and beliefs, with exaggerated fears. They are as dangerous as the Taliban or Al-Queada. Look at this, every Muslim to us is a symbol of terror. Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia are terror centres.
We often say that one thing that the British left behind when they left India was the divide and rule policy – a policy that we often associate with political parties and politicians. Its not just the politicians who have been using this, media too has been using this, for quite some time now.
Media has created stereotypes – you can identify a Muslim with his beard, a Hindu with his right hand, a christian by the manner of his speech and what not. I was denied two houses on rent because the owners were wary of my beard and because I spoke Hindi.
Muslims are terrorists, Hindus are black magicians and trouble makers, Christians are loose characters and Punjabis are gossip mongers and trouble makers. What kind of idiotic shit are we being told? And why are we taking this shit?
The once forgotten concept of ghosts and evil spirits are back in fashion. Why? Well where else do all these evil spirits go? After-all villagers no longer want them. Everyone talks about nimbu mirch. Chicken pox is mata ka aashirwaad and family troubles is padosi ka jaadu tona.
Where the heck is our rationale? Where is our intelligence?
Oh! I am sorry, intelligence’s death is what we’re celebrating here. Sorry.
Well, ladies and gentlemen due to the untimely demise of our dear friend Intelligence, we have but no choice, we are heading back to the good old medieval times and you, each one of you, is heading this journey.