This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Gaurav Tripathi. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

The Great Role Reversal: When Journalists Became Entertainers

More from Gaurav Tripathi

Digital media, breaking news culture, competition, and commercialization have yielded one significant change – role reversal among journalists and entertainers.

Flashy and catchy titles, emotional appeals, drama (in the name of debates), below the belt verbal abuses and continuous sponsoring and promotion by advertisers – things which were used to popularize cinema, arts, and the entertainment industry, now have become symbols of every day prime time debates.

India’s several (not all) leading newspapers and news channels resort to such practices just to grab the attention and increase their commercial stakes!

Representational image.

We regularly witness how channels studios are changed into war rooms whenever India faces border issues. The recent Galwan clash is an example. Fighter jets and tanks firing ammunition can be seen in the background and patriotic music is played. Animation and creativity take over the real news. Even costumes are decided based on news content; e.g.  camouflage dress for war-related news and space suits (look-alike) while reporting space missions!

On the commercial front, around 40% of the TV screens are covered by advertisements while reporting is going on. This in addition to intermittent full-time advertisements. Moreover, today in the name of news an entire episode is broadcasted to popularize a certain product or a company. So here, the journalists have changed their role to salesmen/saleswomen. So multitalented our journalists are!

Debates And Discussions Have Touched A New Low

We have seen verbal as well as physical spat on live news channels. Reporters try to scandalize every information, anchors try to provoke people, and the winner of such debates is decided based on “who can shout louder!” It becomes deeply problematic when, leave aside the principles of journalism, even bare minimum moral standards of humanity are breached! Take for example – the Sushant Singh Rajpoot suicide case.

Reporters were seen encroaching into his family house for ‘live reporting’. Certain channels tried to link it with paranormal activities. W.H.O guidelines on suicide reporting were flouted!

Here comes the second part; the changing role of entertainers! Today we have ample content creators on YouTube, comedians, and lyricists who are playing the role of journalists. For eg – many amongst them (who are not at all related to journalism/media) covered the NRC-CAA-DELHI RIOTS issue in a far better way than many of the mainstream media. The movies like Article 15, section 375 are breaking stereotypes.

Entertainers are bringing us the real issues, exposing the hypocrisy of several politicians, helping in framing relevant public discourse, awakening citizenry, finding loopholes of policies in rather humorous ways, and thereby ensuring accountability of the government institutions – the prime responsibility which was laid down on the shoulders of media!

However, on mainstream media channels, there is an absolute minimum coverage of essential socio-political topics that affect the everyday lives of Indian citizens. There is a considerable gap between on-ground reality and on-screen information by news channels.

I advise you to do a little exercise; from now on, just see what percentage of total debates on prime times were related to topics like unemployment, education, health infrastructure, Assam-Bihar floods, Delhi commission on minority’s report on Delhi violence, police reforms, prison reforms, etc.

So, Who Is To Blame?

Public or the mainstream media channels? Here I would like to acknowledge one corollary – we watch what we like, we like what we think, and we think what we watch! This loop needs to be broken at atleast one point! And I do not hope much from the money-power-fame thirsty media conglomerates. I leave them to their principles of journalism-if any!

However, despite all this, there are some ‘rays of hope’ too. For example, Indian journalist Mr. Ravish Kumar won last year’s Ramon Magsaysay award – a proud moment for India’s journalism. Several unsung ground reporters are working day and night, bearing the state suppression! Several youngsters on YouTube like Samdish and Dhruv Rathee are leading the cause in their way. Channels like Newslaundry are advocating advertisers-free, reader-supported independent media.

Hence the real solution is with US, we must think what we should see and support; what we should listen to and read! Entertainers are free to do things in their way, but journalists and media have a huge responsibility on their shoulders. If they don’t play their role well, the one pillar supporting the roof (democracy) is bound to break, and then we all can imagine that for how long this roof will shelter us!

You must be to comment.
  1. Ashutosh Kumar

    Incredible thinking & mild hearts with youth ki awaz,
    Awesome gaurav sir ji

    1. Gaurav Tripathi

      Thankyou 🙂

  2. Javed Jaffri

    Reform is highly needed in the mainstream media…good job.

More from Gaurav Tripathi

Similar Posts

By Mister August

By Tapesh Upadhyay

By Vanita Ganesh

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below