By Gauri Jagatap:
For an average Indian family, a regular morning starts with chai, biscuit and a fresh newspaper. But while current affairs were always ever a way to become aware about the community and nation as well as world, nowadays, we have not one, but a bunch of celebrities smiling ear to ear from cover to cover.
Today, news has become more about which beauty product your favorite heroine uses or which two leading actors have a war of words, how-so-ever unintellectual it maybe.
The Page 3 culture, very well popularized by Madhur Bhandarkar’s film by the same name, shows the “it world” in a new light. In fact, the spotlight.
In an advertisement of DNA (a leading tabloid), we have a bunch of youngsters being interviewed. Some really common general knowledge questions being asked, and all the girl knows is how many background dancers are there in the song, Munni Badnaam Hui. That the tabloid is actually promoting the lack of awareness and aptitude among youth is shameful. Ironically, media is being used to promote this very misuse of media.
Meanwhile, stars are being approached to write editorial columns in newspapers. We had Priyanka Chopra writing articles for a leading daily. Such is the power of celebs, that is their reach, apparently higher than the paper itself. As it is, people are obsessed with Bollywood. Beti B gathers more mileage than other more pressing issues. If paparazzi aren’t enough, there’s always Twitterati.
In fact the media has been very well responsible for making stars out of such actors, musicians, comedians and others from the entertainment industry. So it’s a symbiosis of sorts as the news agencies help increase their reach and vice versa. Bollywood has also taken full advantage of such a scenario, to publicize and promote upcoming films, events and shows alike.
Speaking of the silver screen, how can small screen remain behind? With increasing viewers, television shows sure have been grabbing millions of eyeballs. The idiot box has made celebrities out of many, supplementing the businesses of glycerin manufacturers and implanting newer and shallower beliefs in minds of so many women. And tabloids and news-channels have been making the most out of it. So we have updates about saases, bahus and saazishes, which bring to real lives, the intricacies of reel life which seeks to ape real lives. What’s new about that news then?
The purpose of news was never entertainment. But probably, the definition of news is changing. News channels telecast the Sansani of events in an elaborate and extravagant manner that’s not really necessary. The aim of news is never biased opinions. It is a presentation of unaltered facts.
The news-industry has been ever growing and competition has definitely played a role in shaping journalism. Efforts have being concentrated on selling news rather than merely delivering it.
As the line between entertainment and news becomes finer, we see a way being paved for shows like Satyamev Jayate. A show that has captured the essence of real life and brought it out through television for us to see. And of course, Aamir Khan.
In recent times, instead of reflecting the society, news media has reflected what the society wants to be like. They have been trying to give the viewer what they want.
The term newsworthiness defines the relevance of news to public. And while some news agencies do their best to bring out facts, there are still, sadly a few which concentrate on rather mundane topics and rate very low on the newsworthiness scale.