Nationally and internationally we have seen a rising debate on the issue of nationalism versus free speech. Varying from news channels to newspapers- CNN (IBN) “the fanatic” to the Times Republic- “Nation wants to know”- the stories sound familiar. The headlines are the same, the language identical, and the narrative interchangeable.
The news channels in an attempt to bank on TRP’s churn stories out of nowhere to an issue of national importance. Only the names change, geography changes and the genre, but the stories remain the same. You are watching the television from March 2016 in March 2017 frame to frame. For example ideology clashes, separatists –liberals -conservatives, protestors ‘for and against’, violence, police (in-action), character assassination, bullying, chaos, doomsday, attack of the presidents, Oil… err sorry we already have democracy here!
The stories only change the march of time but the treading path remains the same. Unlike Donald Trump, every news’ courses the same path. If the news reaches a crossroad from where we could move right, left or straight, it turns into a deluge at social media. The crux of the issue being that how the outreach of social media has become a minefield of abuse, appropriating of national discourse and setting of political agendas.
The media channels have been embarking upon the masses and their love for the bad news inter alia people’s attraction towards negative news. Despite the set ethical standards for good journalism the media power houses prefer to telecast depressing news which have an indirect psychological effect on the innocent citizen of the countries.
In yesteryear, these stories wouldn’t even have evoked a meow, let alone a dog fight on the prime time television debate. But to their credit, the TV news anchors repeatedly pollute the young one’s mind (as much as the elders). They repeatedly remind of politicians who retreat to their safe heavens when faced with heavy criticism.
This art of twisting news out of context and shaping it into a national discourse is more harming than a political contradiction. As happened at the Oscars where Warren Beatty was handed the wrong envelope for the best picture, proving that a wrong story can definitely become the news of the moment.
In times like this instead of asking why we love bad news? We are better off reminding media of their roles and responsibilities for the betterment of the society.