DailyPost 1690

The fourth estate of Indian democracy in its noble mission to safeguard the welfare of the poor and downtrodden and be a watchdog to everything that his happening in this country are well within their rights to  decide the rules of their own game. The name’s sake regulatory agencies have never cracked the whip, it is also unknown as to what  the standards are, who enforces them and who has the powers to act with impunity.  To each to oneself has been the story and having such a large English speaking population and a plethora of English channels, none have made it the international channel grade. Some have excelled in flashes and might be for issues and events.

How much they have been able to keep Indian democracy or the system on the right track is anybody guess. We have been lucky during the lockdown that we are able to see the front pages of our newspapers, where they should be. Otherwise, one got a feeling that it has been wrapped properly by huge ads and yellow pages type material both mixed in one. With their battle for survival evident, they could not sell news, so  newsprint was the only option left. Does the newsprint for the both the ads and new items come at the same price?

The editorials have become a relic of the past, nobody knows what kind of opinion making and awareness they are indulging in.**Even 24/7 story of the electronic media leaves it with no time, to do journalism of visuals, which it is supposed to do. Given the current situation, they should have been at all hotspots, from hospitals, supply chains, to vaccine distribution, bursting  black marketeering, cremation grounds and where all the human story takes them. What visuals appear in a bland manner is of one odd journalist, because of the fear of being left out. The same visuals can feed all channels.  Even for dissemination of relevant information, there is nothing worthwhile which comes out of them. Between the channels themselves they could have been our lifeline. But ground zero is not their fate and destiny and not even data.

Data is what they abhor and have no capability to sieve through the created data mess and come out with the real data that cannot be challenged,* through their great experience and technology filters. Western media has correspondents across the globe, we have 80% -90% of India uncovered. One odd visual, which can also be of a press conference, of sharp exchanges of politicians, or even a Twitter feed in enough. *And then the Chintan and Manthan by anchors, spokespersons, half baked experts or the odd good ones,  who have been made stale, over a period to time. Some odd refreshing thought or data or face would just come out of the blue, once in while. Talking, talking and only talking by a few dozen people in this country is media. Accustomed to high octane election coverage with full complement of journalists, they find themselves not cut out for any relevant job.


Sanjay Sahay

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