Over the past couple of months, I have noticed that people are watching more news channels as compared to entertainment channels on TV. At first I thought this was a good sign, but on a closer look at why people were watching more news channels, I realised that this was because they found a source of entertainment in these channels. Before I comment on anyone else, let me tell you that even I’m guilty of watching news channels for entertainment.
Let’s face it; there’s more drama on news channels these days than on the bland entertainment channels running shows with the same/similar plotlines that have existed for the past 20 years. In such a case, these news anchors who call themselves journalists or the on-ground reporters with their perfect voice modulation, hand gestures and other antics in front of the camera are proving to be better performers than actors on some of the TV Shows.
Out of the seven news channels that we watch at home here is a break-down of what each of these channels focuses on throughout the day. (I will not name channels but you’re smart enough to know which ones these are)
That’s 6 out of 7 channels focusing on a single agenda. It’s a shocking number to see, but it’s the truth. Moreover, what’s sad is the fact that these news channels instead of curating news are creating news and speculating on different happenings for their agenda. In the meantime, every other issue, from rising COVID cases to the floods to the gas well blowout in Assam, all these equally essential news pieces are for a majority of the time missing from mainstream TV channels.
Every news channel is now banking on the antics of their reporters and anchors for attracting viewers which leads to higher TRPs and of course higher revenue from advertisements. The public is tied up into one or two of the news pieces the channels run every day and blindsided from the real and significant issues being experienced by a majority of this country’s population.
Our conversations earlier being based around work, leisure and life are now based on these high profile cases. The role of media has changed a lot over the past decade, but in the past 2–3 months, mainstream media and news channels have been reduced to a source of entertainment. And that is a thing we all need to worry about.