“Today, a story is not told. Rather, it is sold.”
The media is supposed to exist to maintain the bridge between the government and the people. The press is also called the fourth pillar of democracy. Relying on these two statements, the highly important role that the media plays in our day to day life is pretty evident. The media must act as a third eye to the government and must keep us aware and informed of what is happening around the world. But things can become very ugly when this media acts as a barrier for the people; when, instead of focusing on the critical issues, it diverts us to another topic.
Sadly this is the reality; this is what Indian media does these days. 2020 has been a bad year for almost everyone, with disasters like high-scale job losses, COVID deaths, economy, GDP, healthcare system, Indo-china clashes and so on. Here, I’ll try to explain briefly some topics where the Indian media had failed to do its job:
The suicide case of the actor, Sushant Singh Rajput was the most trending topic in recent past, which started with a perfect objective of demanding CBI inquiry for Sushant’s death. But, now, the media has made this case into a real-life circus. Although the movement began with the demand for #JusticeForSSR, no one knows when it turned into “Justice for Kangana Ranaut.” The media started this topic with nepotism and ended up with drugs in Bollywood. Right now, the case is under investigation. But the media is debating on this topic every day rather than focusing on real-life issues.
Students from the whole country protested against the exams. Almost every day, the demand to postpone the exams was trending on Twitter, but neither the government nor the media listened. The risks involved to the lives of lakhs of students in conducting exams were not considered important enough to broadcast on TV channels. At last, no one listened, and the exams did happen.
We have the data on the number of people dying due to COVID. But no one is looking at the number of deaths and suicides happening nowadays due to job losses, hunger, depression and whatnot. But according to the media, “Sab Changa Si” (Everything is Fine).
The answer to this question lies in the present condition of the country, which everybody knows is not stable. GDP growth rate has come down to -23.9%, but now also, the Indian media is putting its all efforts to distract the people to a different topic.
In a survey, it was found that fake news spreads six times faster than the actual news. So, keeping this in mind, not just the media but also the social media trolls try their level best to spread fake news, so that the people must stay diverted from the real issues at hand. Not only the media, but the government is also equally responsible for this ongoing act.
Our news channels can question Kangana the whole day on useless topics, but they don’t have the guts to question the government regarding the economy of the country. While there are several cases where the media has failed to broadcast accurate news, only a few have been mentioned above. Recently a farmer’s protest in Haryana turned violent when police allegedly lathi-charged them. But still, there is no coverage on the news channels. What else can one expect when raising your voice becomes anti-national in a democratic country?
India, which is known to be the largest democracy, has now dropped ten places in the Democracy Index Global Ranking to 51. The media needs to wake up; their work is to show the right information to the public and not spread fake news. Instead of staying biased towards a single government, they have to remain neutral. Nobody is interested in listening to news that is already irrelevant, and that too from a noisy anchor. This also does not create the right image of the country worldwide. Additionally, along with merely running after TRP, distracting people from the main topic is not a task worth doing for any respectable journalist.