Saturday, July 14, 2012

So, what is "good" news reporting?

Life 365 and The Better India are positive news papers. One loves that about them.

other "general" news papers/channels believe(rightfully) that nothing sells like gossip. and crime. and other negative stuff.

Then, there are the investigative journalists who risk their life (and sometimes lose it) , go out on a limb to track down and write stories of oppression, of discrimination, in the hope that someone will hear about it and do something.

At the same time, the near salacious spread of the egyptian protester who was stripped on the street, and the recent Guwahati case, makes me hang my head in shame. Do we need to see the video to understand what happened to this girl? do we need to go viral with it?

Because of social media, we are news generators as much as we are news consumers. The kind of news we choose to consume pays a lot of salaries in the media industry. The kind of news we choose to generate goes a step further - it defines the very nature of the society that we are creating around us. The Guwahati girl's humiliation was made even more public because we chose to spread that video. With the intention of shocking and spreading awareness and making people angry, of course. But the girl doesnt know that. All that she knows, is that someone taped that video, and thousands of people shared it. Would you have liked to be that girl?

So, both, as a news generator and a news consumer, what is "good" news reporting, according to you?


Onkar said...

You have raised very pertinent issues. In a way, you have answered a question that I raised in my latest post.

Himanshu Tandon said...

Enough questions's about time some answers are sought. I have linked your post to one I made recently.

THIS is what I feel and think.

Aparna/ Shadows said...

i agree with you about the discretion of spreading a rape video around.
i beg to differ however about media making the society. The media is a part of the society. a reflection of what is going on. with the advent of social media and internet And innumerable news channels, each journalist, editor news maker is struggling to grab the attention of the millions reading or watching the news. The people in the media have no choice than to glorify. case in point being ; no matter how precise and good the news on doordarshan is... when was the last time you watched it... vis a vis when was the last time you didnt read about saif and kareena and/or heard about it?
my point is that it is not only because media is glorifying the marriage. but also as a consumer (mind you not reading public)what we want to hear and read.

meanwhile as much of a responsibility that the media has... people still prefer a Times of India over The Hindu which is serious journalism at its best in India. I am not talking about you or me... im talking about the lakhs of people (just in delhi) who are buying newspapers everyday.
sensationalism sells and hence it is generated in the media. we cannot only blame them for it. but we need to introspect.

How do we know said...

Hi Aparna: but thats just what i said! what we choose as news consumers pays salaries, but what we share as news generators creates the society we live in. so the buck stops with us, and of course the media gorifies.. thats their job. its our job as news consumers to not pick up the gory pieces. :-) so, we agree.

How do we know said...

Onkar sir: am glad i m not the only one who feels this way. Thank you!

hi HT: loved your post!!

~nm said...

You have said it so precisely. I couldn't get myself to watch the video. I couldn't move my hand to move the cursor on the "Play" icon. I just couldn't.

I had tears in my eyes. I had hatred in my heart. I felt outrage in my mind.

Gentle Breeze said...

One man's waste is another man's treasure...sleaze sells and most of the news channels know this fact rather well...without doubt i feel investigative journalists of the kind you speak of are far and few...majority are those who churn out videos of the kind you talk of and are feeding the voyeuristic dreams..

Id it is said...

As Gentle Breeze put it 'sleaze sells', but then sleaze is not quality journalism; it's sensationalism. It is what makes an NYT different from a New York Post. Those are the two different types of readerships that exist within any society. The problem is when society as a whole is unable to distinguish between sensationalism and journalism! So long as there are significant numbers of discretionary readers/viewers making a choice in favor of quality journalism there is no cause to panic...or so I feel : )

How do we know said...

hi id it is: yes. but the thing is , what is "quality journalism"? the better india, or the story on starvation deaths in orissa?