DailyPost 2145

The media needs public figures to be able to limit most of its energies on very few people and make moolah which is not commensurate to the effort. Media and public figures feed on each other. Who creates whom? The answer for sure is the media creates public figures. These are public figures primarily in the political and associated areas, where outright expertise, talent or merit does not come into play. It can also be the Godmen, who have caught the people’s imagination way beyond anything they have done, achieved or performed. The talent component or the outright achievers are generally not bothered, and they don’t try to hog media limelight.

People came to know of somebody emerging by word of mouth, that was the typical way getting known. The print media hastened the process and public starting getting a bit faster buy way to slow compared to today’s world. The electronic media by its reach, then going 24/7 and then then getting into full news channels added a new dimension of creation of public figures. The repetitive nature adopted by this medium can create has the capability of creating a mountain out of a molehill. The visual medium has it own impact. And now you have the newest media tool, the social media, being completely multimedia and can make a news / pic / video go around the world in around two hours.

A public figure who is not larger than life, is of now value. So, something has to stick to him, of a visionary, a great administrator, a Man Friday, a perfect doer, charismatic leadership, communicator, Chanakya streak, out of box thinking person and what not. Epithet sticks. Declaring someone infallible is another persona creation methodology, which is media favorite pastime. The media persons who take this call, do it for the reason that the don’t want to miss an emerging story, follow the herd, or claim credit of bringing new stories about him or her. Media blitzkrieg for whatever reasons can make anyone a public figure. Once you have sizeable following, what the mediocre guy then talks, makes sense. Currently, both the spokespersons and most of the anchors have become public figures in this manner.

The media and social media strategy and perception management add to the process. Carefully manicured personalities are created. If it pays it makes sense to everyone. How many of these personalities remain what they are claim to be over a period of time? How does the sheen go away pretty fast? Were they meant only for the showcase? Who has the capability to evaluate the performance, be objective and empirical? Certainly, not the media. They will churn out what sells. They will sustain anyone they feel makes business; one who can keep the cash registers ringing or provide then a cozy existence, its generally both. Whatever maturity we might claim of, media batters it down.

Sanjay Sahay

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