Anil Thakraney: Crime instigating journos need to be punished

01 Aug,2012

By Anil Thakraney


We first heard about it during the Assam molestation incident. Now the same allegations are being made about the Mangalore party bust, where some youngsters were beaten up and molested by a bunch of goons. That, if not directly provoked, both incidents were encouraged by the media persons present out there. Find that surprising? I don’t.


Here’s the problem: There are TOO many news channels in India. National and regional. No other country in the world has such a large number; it’s going insane out there. And to think more stations are waiting in the pipeline! Quite naturally, most of these channels are bleeding very badly; the market simply cannot support such a huge crowd. In such a crazy scenario, pressure on content heads to deliver viewership numbers is intense. And this pressure percolates down to the reporters and the camera crew on the ground. A couple of young TV reporters have told me, in private, that they have been warned to either ‘somehow’ get juicy stories or face the axe.


And I believe this is the key reason behind the nonsense we are witnessing on the idiot box. It’s a very tempting idea. Not being able to get a story? Let’s create one. And we’ll worry about the consequences later. It’s the question of jobs and livelihood, food has to be put on the table, boss. So what we are witnessing these days is the inevitable result of the news channel madness in India.


So what’s the way out, given that we are a free economy and entrepreneurs have every right to set up their own news shops? It’s simple, and the answer has already been given in the UK. When Murdoch’s editors crossed the Lakshman Rekha of ethics in journalism, they not only had to accept the closure of a newspaper, some senior staff members are staring at a prison sentence.


Ditto needs to be done with editors/reporters who are found to have abetted or encouraged incidents like the ones in Assamand Mangalore: Loss of broadcast license for the channel. Jail term for the staff members found guilty. There is no other option. Inaction in these matters endangers the safety many young girls in this nation. And I am very sorry to have to state this.


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One response to “Anil Thakraney: Crime instigating journos need to be punished”

  1. Ananda Puranik says:

    Exactly the point I wish one had actually articulated…have been talking about it for than a while amongst family/friends

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