Dear News channels,
Our office cafeteria has a huge LED television and they dutifully play English news in it. So, throughout my luncheon and later during snacks, my hungry eyes would be looking at it to know what is making the news. Most of my colleagues would be discussing the news as well. However, the ardent observer within me and the keen eyes has also noticed something else. You always broadcast the same news over and over. You don’t care if something is really relevant or not. You also don’t care if they make any sense. If you think that one piece of news could create ripples, you will tirelessly (read mindlessly) play it again and again. You start testing our patience level. It would reach to such heights that there would be only one option left – either to switch off the idiot box or just walk away from it.
Some days before, you covered a news where a traffic cop was throwing stone at some woman. The news informed that the woman was innocent and the cop was unnecessarily hitting that woman. There was no background to the news or no effort to state the facts. The same video continued to be played and the same news bulletins flashed. Thank God that we can’t hear the news due to crowd. Else, I would have to endure that too.
I can never forget that day when everyone (read as news channels) awaited for actor Salman Khan’s verdict for the hit and run case. Since morning, there were news only about that. Salman Khan has reached the court. Judge has reached. Tweets of celebrities. As a cherry on the cake, you welcomed our thoughts too. There were some rich spoiled celebrities saying that such accident happened not because Salman Khan was drunk but because the poor people slept on the road! My smart phone always popped up news updates (only Salman Khan News though) throughout the day. I sighed with relief when a bulletin in my smart phone flashed announcing that Salman Khan has got the bail and left to his home!
Soon came news of Amma aka Ms Jayalalitha getting bail… Honorable Prime Minister’s achievements over the past 365 days and so on.
This week, you are obsessed with the Maggi Muddle. You are more worried about the celebrities who endorsed it than the trouble per se. Courts are seeking explanations from them and have declared that Maggi is neither safe nor good for health.
Okay, now you would be wondering what I am blabbering? What point am I trying to drive? You might also wonder if I have become like you, aimless news channels, who care only about TRP, because about such topics would attract more viewers and comments.
Before, such questions fog your thoughts, let me clear the air.
I want to know where we are heading. What happened to the moral responsibility and ethical values of news channels? Do you care only about TRP? Are you politically skewed? If yes, then why do you lie that you are the voice of general public?
I want to know what is the big deal about the movie stars. I am not against them and you have no clue what a movie buff I am. I respect them and thank them for entertaining us. I also like to know what is happening in their lives, who is dating who and stuffs. I like to also see who wore what to Cannes and who won Filmfare. And, it ends there. They are not God. They are human beings. They can also err. They should be treated as normal human beings.
In the Maggi case, emphasis must be given to what made Maggi unsafe. How they discovered it. What are the other food items that are not safe anymore? You must try to bring awareness among the general public. Blaming the celebrities for endorsing that product or repeatedly showing the same ad is not going to solve the issue. It would only tempt me to take a 2 minutes break and have Maggi.
Similarly, I don’t care if Salman Khan has reached his home safely or not after hearing the verdict. I don’t want to know if he broke down or how the producers of his forthcoming movies reacted. Rather, I would like to know what steps can be taken to ensure that every Indian has a shelter to rest at the end of the day. I would like to know ONLY that.
I also don’t want to know if a cop hit a woman or if it was the other way round. But, I would love to know the rights duties and responsibilities of both the police officers and general public. I would like to be told that we must co-exist.
To conclude, my dear news channels, please broadcast quality news. Awaken the nation. Create awareness. Educate and empower. It would bring more TRP than you could ever imagine.