Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Squatters in the Fourth Estate - II

And on one hand India suffers from repression of reportage. On the other we have a race among media houses to the bottom of the intelligence quotient.

A 5 minute snap-shot across the Indian news channels, a 10 minute read of the largest Indian newspapers (with the honourable exception of the Hindu) sends me directly into depression. Even the eminently anti-establishment Outlook comes up with inane sex surveys to prop up its readership.

Isn't it time Vinod Mehta realised that the english literate Indian is not anti-establishment, socialist and culturally liberal but conformist to the point of being painful, gangster-capitalist and a lemon-sucking prissy prude? S/He wants the sex-surveys, Yes, but please don't advertise it on the cover. How're they supposed to leave it on the coffee table then? eh? follow the India Today path of popular gratification with a condescending snapshot of social(passe) issues maybe twice a year.

The race to the bottom is led by the incredibly numerous Indian TV News Channels. The genre has hardly been noticeable for more than half a decade but it has already plumbed the depths that American TV news networks took half a century to achieve. The worst of journalistic sensationalism, insensitivity and sheer dumbfuckedness has been borrowed from the Americans with none of the professionalism, dedication to sources and confidentiality, presentation and language...nothing.

Rajdeep Sardesai speaks coherently on his opinion on electronic news media but why does it take a third party to see the irony that his channel CNN-IBN leads the moron-quotient in news channels by a huge margin? Doesn't he realise that CNN-IBN has become the epitome of misguidedly market-led media. His market interpreters do not give enough credit to the Indian viewer and think of us, as Sardesai himself puts it, passive morons.

Most media houses follow the lead of CNN-IBN and consider us passive morons. Therefore we have 3 full days of Rakhi Sawant being kissed by Mika across EVERY channel, we have every anchor, newscaster waiting with bated breath to make sarcastic comments on lawmakers they're interviewing, on-site anchors who blissfully sail through painfully bad english and insist on holding on to their monologue and half-baked opinions while the studio-anchor embarrassedly tries to cut him/her off.

A very pertinent view by Daya Kishan Thussu, on Indian mass media

He raises even more questions about the Delhi/Mumbai centered media which is blissfully unaware of realities outside the municipal limits of these cities, not they aren't important but in an universe in which the primary consumers of English media are down south and even fleeting focus on rural India can make a real difference, they remain ignorant of both actual market realities and their duty as the Fourth estate.
Times of India reduced farmer suicides in Vidarbha to a cool numerical Count-Up statistic.

Is it even conscionable on its part to start a "India Poised" campaign during such times? Even the language of the campaign is moronic blaming that part of India that has never seen much less given better opportunities as the ones "holding back" India. And not only is Indian media getting dumbed down, it in the true form of stupidity fostering insecurity and thus vindictiveness we also see bullying by them

Not to mention the increasing reduction of pride in independence of editorial, None of the major news media commented on the blatantly repressive affair a'la IIPM

In the throes of the initial years of becoming a mature market, Indian Media has shown its worst face. And there is no where to go but up. Will it?

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