18 November 2012

Bring the 9 pm bulletin back

Where has it disappeared – the 9 pm news bulletin? After a long day of work, when I switch on the TV for my daily dose of news, all I get is opinion. Frequently, it’s one or two issues that hog prime time space with the same people from the same political parties going at each other’s necks. Does anyone really watch these tired old debates day after day? Where is the national news? And the less said about international news the better.

TV journalism (?) has taken a turn for the worse over the last couple of years and channels have willingly become platforms for political parties to boo boo each other. It works out well for both the TV channels and political parties: the former doesn't have to go in search of news stories and the latter are all too happy to have one issue catch the public imagination rather than have nosy journalists pick up stories from all over the place.

I remember how news bulletins at prime time used to have clearly demarcated slots for national, state, and city or local news. Now, the discussions that last nearly an hour leave no space for real news, except on the tickers. Why is this so? Am I the only one complaining? Or, have the channels assumed that people are anyway going to tune out and into a movie or a reality show, so why bother working hard for a news story?

There are no serious news stories being done, no exposes, no investigations. (But hey, there’s Arvind Kejriwal for that!) Just a passive sitting back with lobbyists from all over the place and let them do even the talking for you. News anchors seem to be present only to coordinate the ad breaks in between the shows.

Real reporting only seems to happen when there is a terrorist attack or some sort of natural calamity or an election, perhaps. Social media can easily take over some aspects of reporting such news events. Mainstream journalism in India is content with giving up its adversarial role and happy to be at best a stoker of controversies. If they have to be obsessed about the same issue, they could at least do less of discussion and more of digging around, perhaps? But that would mean work and making people uncomfortable. 


debanish achom said...

it's a demand that many will agree. these days when switching from Animal Planet to a news channel, there is no marked difference in the content.

Vijayalaxmi Hegde said...

Yeah, and many would leave the latter in favour of the former :)