I remember the days when Doordarshan was our only go-to channel for watching the news. With such rapid development and changing times, today, we are spoilt for options! The number of news channels have significantly increased ranging from Hindi, English, regional languages and a plethora of other news channels. However, with this rise in quantity, the quality of most of these channels fell down drastically – telecasting television rating points (TRP)-centric news which is a major cause for spreading hatred.
In order to achieve a higher TRP, gain more viewership and ultimately to earn more money, such channels are easily forgetting the ethics of journalism. There is hardly any news channel that telecasts unbiased news, most of them are in a mad rush to promote their paid ideology. In the hunt for a higher TRP, such channels established media trials – wherein the media gives their own judgment on an issue before any constitutional authority has done so.
They manipulate the truth and present it in such a way that the channel gets more reactions and fosters hatred and negativity, which sells faster than truth and positivity. In recent years, power and money have also become an important factor; the person in power can control the news.
News channels seem to believe in negativity and hatred and mould the facts in the name of religion and politics to trigger the common man. Social media has also become a platform to spread contempt as some beneficiaries create fake news and we blindly follow and share it. There are many such incidents; say, during a horrendous rape case, if a media house and social media first and foremost, try to find out the religion of the rapist, and then the media trial begins based on which ideology that particular media house has been previously sold to. How is this news?
We have just concluded the 2019 general elections and as a citizen of this country I must say this election was not fought on the basis of development or on the achievement of the governments from 2014-2019 but, it was fought on nationalism, anti-nationalism, surgical strikes, etc. Undesirable terms like anti-national, deshdrohi, the tukde-tukde gang is the result of such media trials.
The media houses conduct prime time debates, which are sometimes better than comedy shows. The guests speak anything and everything related to the topic or not, whenever they get a chance and the host is someone who can shout their lungs out. Media houses must realise that still, a huge percentage of people follow news channels for their daily dose of opinion-formation. Any form of bias in order to gain TRP creates a huge negative impact on the viewers. We, as the viewers, should also remain vigilant and verify the sources before absorbing any fact to generate an opinion.