Daily Post 1537


Till as late as a decade back, this topic would have created amazement and nobody would have believed that it can happen one day. In the olden days there used to be news and rarely there was any talk about the authentication of the news. Anything appearing in the print, radio or the electronic media had to be true, there could not be any other opinion. The total quantum of commerce / business operating on news was minimal. The nearest you could reach to opinion was the editorial, which would be more incisive than the news itself. Paradoxically, objectivity and being empirical was not discussed but it was all pervasive.

Taking sides was unknown and even in the dark days of emergency they could keep their flock together and come out with elan. The tales of journalists, newspapers and editors showing their mettle in those days and remain iconic even to this day. It was a chosen profession, ready to take hardships and finally deliver. Nobody knew those days that one day it was would reach the Fake News Age. An age that would be described as Post Truth. How did we make it happen? How is the media celebrating in its near demise? Can they not see the writing on the wall?

The age of 24/7 news channels can be taken as the beginning of the process which has finally led to the death of news. Filling up 24 hours with sense cannot happen even for one channel if all the most talented journalistic resources are put at its command. Here we have talent who cannot even converse in the language in which they are supposed to report. Slowly, things started moving in an awkward direction. The channels started testing what all the audience can take. All negativity was put on to audience taste. And life went on uncharted. The TRP and the advertisers moved in. The audience lost value, they have to be compulsorily roped in for money.

Social media conundrum has added fuel to the fire in this downslide trajectory. The anchors became celebrities and grew larger than life. The huge monetary windfall for no reason made them complacent. They started feeling invincible and they trying to decide the trajectory and the mood of the nation. Non-professionals took over the news industry. It really became an industry. News was not the goal anymore. Nor was objective reporting. Opinionated vested interest reporting was the name of the game. Couple of places mainstream electronic media are denied entry, in some agitations they are shouted upon. When anchors and new channels become news and that too for wrong reasons, for sure news can be declared dead.


Sanjay Sahay

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