The IMPACT of the news

First it was TOI (Times of India) Impact. Now, it’s CNN-IBN Impact, Mid-Day Impact, etc.

What’s the impact? The media is supposed to report the news. Lately though, it’s been getting into activism, big time. You find a news story, you push it, you end up getting a cop or two suspended, and then you toot your own horn about impact. The modus operandi varies, the story varies, but the bottom line is that the media entity (newspaper, TV, etc.) harps on its own efficacy. Presumably, this helps advertising. I don’t know, I’m just trying to make an impact.

The latest impacting story was the one about the professor in Ujjain who was allegedly beaten to death by protesting students of the college. Now, a witness has come forward to testify on camera about the guilty students.

Media activism is a dangerous trend because it throws objectivity out of the window. Journalism, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is “The style of writing characteristic of material in newspapers and magazines, consisting of direct presentation of facts or occurrences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation.”

When you start reporting stories with a decided slant and all but point out who’s guilty, you’re leaving no room for other explanations. I’m not saying that there are always other explanations, but sometimes the truth, as media outlets report it, isn’t the truth but a version of the truth.

Somehow, I don’t think Harischandra would be happy about all this.

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4 thoughts on “The IMPACT of the news

  1. Court trial v/s. media trial. Yes it is dangerous thing. Media is having very powerful medium of large publicity and as Hitler said well, ‘speak a lie for 100 time and it will become truth’.

  2. I wouldn’t say that the reporting is all lies. I would, however, wonder about why the media is so into activism these days. Viewership/Readership, which translates into advertising?

  3. You are right. there has to be a difference between fact and opinons and vews and news. THe media has to do all that because the whole business runs on stories. Haven’t you heard of filmstars complaiing about false rumors? Its an undesirbale fact of life. Simetimes media activisim can be useful also- in the Jesical lall murder case or priyadarshani matto rape and murder case.

  4. Yeah, I do know about misquotes, and false rumours, etc. I think it’s partially to do with sensationalism and partially with lazy reporting.

    About activism, I am not sure that it is useful because that’s just two cases you’re talking about. Is the media going only for the high profile (read: cases that “sell”) ones? What about the other cases? And, more importantly, who decides which case is worthy to promote or not? Ratings?

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