Sunday, October 02, 2005

Media Mania or Maniac Media?!

As I was looking at the latest GDP growth figures, I was wondering what's the rate at which Indian media is producing news?! I mean the rate at which it generates news out of thin air! These days its becoming difficult to withstand the carpet bombing of worthless news unleashed by the Indian media. Although the "paparazzi" menace is a global phenomenon, we Indians are taking it to the extremes.

How many thousands (or millions) of words were written or broadcast about the Chappell-Ganguly spat? All of that turned into what? Nothing! Everything about Indian cricket remains the same. This week 'The Hindu' declared the Iran LNG deal dead! Surely that was a figment of someone's imagination. How many companies has Anil Ambani been rumored to invest ? What about that 'save the spy' comedy? And how many times will the media expand the Union Cabinet before Manmohan Singh eventually does it?

Everyother day some politician utter some inanities about something, then the Media goes to town. The next day the same politician will make a statement saying that he never said that or he was "misquoted". Then the media will again go to town making twice a killing in the coffers! If all these represent the irritable side of the story, there is the other sinister side.

When the investigator wants to frame the Sankaracharya, he releases photos of his questioning, claims that he confessed and worse releases the list of all the actresses he supposedly slept with. And the media duly obliges him with absolutely no qualms about the sentiments of his devotees being hurt or justice being denied to the accused.

Isn't the Chappell-Ganguly spat a result of attempts by Chappell (sms), Ganguly (inside tip to a journalist about Chappell's suggestion) and the BCCI (email leak) to further their own interests? Did Hindu create the 'dead deal' rumor so that its beloved left gang can hammer Manmohan Singh? Aren't some companies gaining by the planted rumors of acquisition by Anil Ambani? Didn't he himself and his brother leak confidential details to influence the Reliance demerger? Is it not possible that the family of that Indian prisoner in Pakistan spread the "spy" story to save him?

All of us who read these stories are losing both ways. Either we waste our time and energy reading these "media manufactured" stories or we lose literally. Does the media care about the retail investors whose money, it is helping the market manipulators to swindle? Didn't India lose the initiative in its dialogue with Pakistan because of the "spy" soap opera? If the Sankaracharya is innocent, why should he and his followers go through this agony simply because the police and the media wanted to have some fun? And if he is guilty won't his lawyers wreck the case by exposing the baseless allegations spread by the investigator?

There are more questions than answers. As I ponder over these, there must be someone out there, sitting in his newsdesk, writing the script of yet another mindless (or sinister) news extravaganza!

No comments: