Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Breaking News – Time for a Break

Breaking News !! I am quite broken and upset reading this news in almost all the news channels these days. There are about 10 – 15 channels which are competing with each other including the regional channels. Almost every moment all we get to read is BREAKING NEWS. A few years ago this title was used only if the news was so critical and important or if any leader was dead or assassinated or in times of natural calamities or bad weather. But now this BREAKING NEWS title is being used for traffic on the roads, for normal rain showers or something as silly as a bomb hoax. Where are the news channels heading in INDIA? I thought media is the reflection of the society. However, the way in which they continue to function only shows they are in the race for broadcasting sob stories, viewership, advertisement and clouding public perceptions.

I remember the days when my entire family used to be waiting for the 9 o clock news after dinner to catch up on the day’s events, national news etc. The news readers then were very familiar and considered part and parcel of the family. Broadcast has changed, technology has changed and so is the quality of news and reporting. A man walks out of the jail and the reporter asks questions like ‘’How did you feel inside the jail’’? A mother has lost her child in a blast and the reporter asks ‘’How does it feel after losing your child’’? That shows how insensitive Indian media has become. The news of the bomb blasts are like celebrating Diwali for these media channels. Almost everyone just trying to spread terror by exaggerating and hyping the entire thing. I think by now a few intelligent viewers have realized that these news channels are just hyping and unnecessarily creating small issues as extraordinary. Everyone wants to do a TEHELKHA but somewhere this BREAKING NEWS is losing its relevance in India atleast.

No peace march in a city is covered in the news papers, no peaceful protests are covered in the media, no spiritual retreats are covered. The main things which catch attention are the blasts, politics, school shootouts etc. What message are we giving to the young generation of India? Just terrorism, blasts. It’s become a way of life for many of these children watching it on television every day. I wouldn’t blame the students who pursue their studies in the area of journalism, all they are taught in their academics is that bad news is good news and good news is bad news. In this case I feel the Lifestyle channels are much better, atleast they don’t propagate violence , racism and confuse viewers about what is happening all around? News you can never use!!

One of my cousin who works for a media company, says that they have a target on stories that they need to cover over the week just like the sales people have sales targets. The best sensational story which has sadness, grief, horror is covered on prime time to generate more viewership and in many regional channels it is also fabricated in the form of stories. The main issues which needs coverage are skipped just simply because they want to focus on certain news formats and broadcast. This was recently showed in the movie called ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan’ which was based on the blasts which occurred in Mumbai in 2006 where the reporter of a news channel herself becomes a prey of such reporting.

All I want to say is, as viewers we have to be intelligent and careful in our ways of watching these news channels. More often all this affect our perceptions and day to day life pertaining to certain issues. Atleast, when children are around we need not keep watching about blasts, school shoot outs, kidnaps, murder, rapes etc. To conclude, the prime time story telling of the grandma – grandpa were much better, atleast they had stories on spirituality, mythology, different generations, childhood past times, earlier leaders, freedom fighters etc. I wish and pray if we could give this to our next generation as they build moral values atleast.


  1. nice...u have really observed n explained the minute things that we generally tend to overlook as all r busy in the usual grind.....good job!!

  2. The blog made interesting reading...I understand a quota of
    2 nos.of "Breaking News" per reporter per month is fixed leading to ridiculous situations like loss of a Police Commssioner's dog making it to "Breaking News" category!

  3. Hello Savi!
    Nice that you too started blogging.
    Guess a lot of people are fed up with this issue.

    'Emmi Akka', you listening/reading? :P
    Don't be this way... :)


  4. So..true..yaar..this generation gets to see n hear only things like bomb blasts, shootouts..etc...Its really sad the way things are goin..and all bad news.. are good news for the News channels !! Pathetic..These days it feels like News channels wait for something to wrong so that they can get something interesting to talk to junta about..n they are as happy as selling hot cakes to bring out the sad news to junta...