Princely coverage

If you were not watching TV on Sunday night, here’s a glimpse of what happened (from Indian TV hits nadir with Prince saga)

The wall-to-wall coverage of the dramatic rescue of five-year-old Prince from a 60-ft deep pit in Haryana’s Kurukshetra town has taken television coverage to a new and disturbing low.

Sure, it was a poignant story that merited coverage with the boy falling into a shaft and lying trapped there for 50 hours with soldiers from an engineering regiment working overnight, scooping out drums of mud and then creating a connecting passageway in their rescue effort.

The coverage was mind-boggling because of the volume of coverage related to the story. It reminded me of the local American TV channels and I’m not being flattering. Every channel that you turned to had this story and they covered it in great detail.

It must’ve been tough for the boy and his family but there is something called too much coverage. Has the media become so narrow in their focus? It wasn’t even a slow news day, there are so many things going on in the world.

If the media could dissect India’s nuclear policy, India’s security/terrorism issues, reservations, traffic pollution, and so on, we would be better off. These issues are not sexy in a way that Prince’s story was, I guess.

Also, it seems like if one channel carries a story, everyone else must–there doesn’t seem to be much distinguishing TV channels from each other. Worse still, tabloid journalism is now making its way into television.

Maybe we should all go back to watching Doordarshan.

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4 thoughts on “Princely coverage

  1. I remember the news story on all of the channels – “Prince rescued”! “Prince is safe after a 50 hour ordeal”
    The first thoughts on my mind – Which Prince are they talking about? The rule of kings and princes ended long ago in India. OK, so this must be something huge, since all channels are covering it. Let me figure out what happened.
    And then I realize that it was a little boy named Prince, who fell into a pit, and was rescued. Frankly, couldn’t the headlines have been something like – “Little boy safe”, “Little boy who fell into the pit safe”?

  2. That is a very intersting post, especially the last comment. The scene is that we have too much “Passdardashan” these days. Well the media has to get its TRPs and there are not very many ways that a channel can differentiate itself, can it? As it is the media operates on “Man bites dog, its news but vice-versa its not nwers”.

  3. I don’t know what “passdardarshan” means; it sounds similar to Doordarshan. About channels differentiating themselves, maybe they can, by the amount of time they spend on a news item.

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