Monday, December 12, 2005

The End of Innocence

It seems that Electronic Media is going berserk with the "secret camera revelation”. Almost each news channel is trying hard to make its presence felt on the idiot box by coming up with some or other visual titillations to make us sit back and stop pressing the channels button. With almost 20 channels running round the clock, each one is jostling hard to catch viewers eyeball.

The competition has lead to some not so pleasant events which comes more as a shocking revelation to Indian viewers who have been happy watching DD’s good old sarkari views for ages. In the early 90’s the media focused more Political infighting and corruption at lower level, then came Tehelka episode and it changed the definition of journalism and added a new buzz word to the lexicon of Indian journalism called “ sting operation”.

Indian Media was never the same, the good old Khadar Dhari ,Jhola types, gave way to suave ,technically savy, mobile and yuppy journos.The days of penury for the good old Jhola types was gone and they represented a new face of Indian journalism.

The viewers thought they were having a ball since they were being pampered to the great extent. Public figures who were considered sacrosanct till date were now being reduced to rubble by media with one shot .Media spared no one the high and mighty politician, film stars, power brokers, cricketers, senior officials ,babus ,judges,army officers ,police and even academicians. The age old shibboleth was broken and the lakshman rekha was crossed.

The best part was that some good old media folks were also enraged with the new breed of journalists; they felt that the symbiotic relation which has been fostering between media and power groups for ages has been broken with this spate of sting journalism. This was a new world in which nobody trusted nobody, and as a consequent the internecine battle for eyeballs continues and the holy institutions of Indian social life has been reduced to a nautanki.

Perhaps the worst fallout of these events is the fact that the new generation will become all the more cynical to the existing institutions. What took ages to build being reduced to mere sensational clips? I guess all this is no excuse for exposing the truth because many feels that we must know the truth, however the truth comes at a big cost which I’m sure everyone realizes.

The fact that every exposure brings more cynicism and erosion of faith in public figures mean that we need new role models ,new champions and new leadership which espouses the virtues of high moral and ethical based practices.

We must not overlook the fact that these incidents leads to generalization of common’s man perception about the public figures, so if you have seen one of the cricketer taking bribe then every time a wicket fall you’ll find people questioning the credibility of the individual. The worst part is that its not that only failures will be put to question even success will be treated with skepticism.

I guess the situation is here to stay and probably it would mean we have to find answer to some greater questions which incidents like these leaves unanswered? How and where do you draw the line????


Neha said...

Hey Ajit!
lots of stuff here on ur blog too :)
Interesting post.. sting operations.. they're a media by the channels to get ratings.. but if it actually does expose some corrupt people or helps out some in distress.. i remember the one where they showed this police guy asking for money from the family to return the body of an accident victim..

well ur right in a way that they would change public perceptions..
i guess then uv got to see.. the benefits over the cons..

Ajit said...

Neha, The specific incident which you mentioned was the best such operation carried out by any news channel.

First, they did not set a trap for the operation.It was only when the cop had asked for the money, the concerned people approached NDTV and the action was captured.So what it means essentially is that they did not set a plan to tempt and catch them up.

Secondly, they did what any responsible journalist could have done.

Third,I suspect that sting operations are also handy work of some powerful people who set things in motion to trap personalities.Remember the Judeo Scandal.

I feel one must use discretion(which i hate to say very few people have) while having a final say on such act of journalism.

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