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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Assam Shame and Indian Media

Recently,most of our channels have been playing the sensational news of torture of an adivasi women in Assam. It was a terrible news. And it is a big shame for India. But haven't some of you got the feeling that the news channels are craving for such sensational news and are really happy when such news comes so that they can mint it and make a hell lot of money.

On monday night, all of the Indian english news channels have started playing the "sensational news". And it was well supplemented with pictures. (At least they kept her face blurred). The "slideshow" was well made with a good background music. Anyway, they made a good news out of it.

But the statement made by the anchor still echoes in my mind. After giving the details of all that happened over there in Assam, she said, "Before going to next news,(let me remind you that) all the day,we will be following this story". Which literally means they will be repeating the slideshow the entire day. And if possible,with some new photos.

If I was among the adivasis and had seen the news reports, I would have certainly joined some demonstration the next day itself. The repeated broadcast of these reports will surely instigate retailatory actions. I doesn't seem like the editors are thinking about the aftermaths when they give such a publicity and all day coverages.

(I even thought that some localised channels like the one who trapped the Delhi school teacher in a fake sting operation will go out of limits and play un-censored photos or videos just to increase TRP)

News channels and newspapers should keep their own restrictions and policies about reporting sensitive news. Its not that they should not report such news. India is a democracy and all have the right to know what is going down. Report it, but underplay the news. That strategy was taken up the next day's The Hindu. They reported the news, but underplayed it. Some tabloids would have devoted the entire front page to this news to capture readers. That is unethical.

All the channels and newspapers should come together voluntarily and form a council that will frame some guidelines to follow to make the reporting of Indian media, a bit more ethical.

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