Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 | By Gautam | In democracy , freedom of expression , journalism , speech
Circa winter solstice of 2012 and the world is going to end. The Mayan calender says so. The Bible seems to indicate an Armageddon up the sleeves. Nostradamus warned us in advance. All the major religions have a hunch (so to say) that the end of the world is near (forgive my ignorance but why didn't Hindus have a doomsday prophecy?! Laggards.). Doomsday sayers are having a ball. And the world ends in a couple of years (too bad for all those dying virgin. My sympathies!). And yes, news channels never had it better. Aaj Tak, India TV (#fail), Star News and all those pseudo news channels who have nothing better to report lest the plunging hemline of Kareena being the cause of markets falling and how the planetary motion is going to screw my life. Every other disaster, major or minor alike, is being treated as a precursor to the END. And the ripped off scenes of 2012 is only adding to the titillation of masses gorging on these news(?) pieces.
The release of 2012- the movie is proving to be a tipping point of all sorts. Like the world ending and a pretty violent end at that. The reasons for the end are as varied as they come. From the earth's magnetic field changing its polarity to solar winds to the firing up of the Large Hadron Collider creating a mini black hole (isn't it exciting that according to some intelligent souls, we can now have our own black holes!). The director of the movie would have never thought how certain scenes he'd shot are going to be a part of news stories of sensational media often mistaken as news in India. Yes, that's what they are. Instead of reporting facts and giving us unbiased insights, a bunch of clowns under the pretext of journalism are feeding us crap. And being the nation of Bollywood crazies, we want our news to be sensational to say the least. Else, we're not interested.
The biggest grunt of mine with the sensational media (read news channels) stems from the fact that they're not discharging their duties as they're supposed to. Panic is the last thing they're supposed to create. But no, a panic struck person on the screen ranting about his ordeal is any-day good business. The real news can wait. How else does one classify the manner in which these clowns handled the Swine Flu panic in India, Pune in particular. The recent outing of Phyan and its just brushing Mumbai was covered with much enthusiasm. Felt like it was a star or something. People interviewed were happy (Look Mom, I'm on TV!!!). But it did jeopardise the fourth pillar as such.
The fact that the title of fourth pillar has been christened onto the news media (electronic and print alike) is an indication to the fact that how important it is to any democracy. They shape democracies. A strong media means that truth will find its way to the populace. Remember Deep Throat bringing about the eventual downfall of Nixon? It's that strong. But with great powers come great responsibilities. And this is what the current generation of rumour mongers (again read news channels) have forgotten. They want all the special concession they're entitled to, all the perks of being a journalist is what they want. But zero responsibility. And zero accountability too. Is this journalism? Sorry clowns, it ain't. And that's a breaking news. Period.
The way they are behaving with all the clippings of 2012 downloaded from YouTube (atleast get some HD footage) makes me sick. It also proves one thing. Their getting away with such reporting and masses hooked onto their pieces is an indication- we want to be titillated. And news is no exception.
Earth, Rest in Peace.
PS: All those virgins around, you might want to reconsider. Just in case.....