Anil Thakraney: The media is being used

19 Oct,2012

By Anil Thakraney


During the 26/11 carnage, terrorists freely used the electronic media to their advantage, and (hopefully) some hard lessons have been learnt post that incident. Now, it’s the turn of the politicians. It is obvious that the India Against Corruption (IAC) guys are regularly using the media to build their own brand. And once again, editors and particularly the television content chiefs will need to introspect on this.


In their mad quest for ‘Breaking News’, it isn’t occurring to news channel folks that they are being hired as a convenient ladder. What the IAC team is doing is to create scandals based on half-baked information in order to malign the big-name political leaders. This information isn’t enough to pronounce a person guilty in a court of law, but the idea is to fling some mud and, given the mood of the masses, most of it sticks. People on the streets have already pronounced Robert Vadra and Salman Khurshid guilty as charged, nothing can save these men now. All thanks to the breathless coverage on television.


It is not my case that these people aren’t guilty. But the correct course of action would be to cross-check and verify all allegations before putting them out on air. Indeed, that’s the way journalists are supposed to operate. But in the hunger for sensationalism, and in order to beat the rivals, news channels aren’t bothering with such trivia. They are going on air the moment an accusation is hurled. I find this situation quite unfair. This means anyone can malign anyone he wants based on all sorts of wild allegations. And clearly, that can’t be the way forward.


Much as though one would like the new political party to come to the fore, it can’t be done by smashing basic rules of ethical journalism. If, along the way, the courts dismiss these allegations, who becomes responsible for the individual’s sullied reputation? It won’t just be the accuser, it will be the media that broadcast the ‘story’.


I really think the time has come for TV channels to ponder on this issue, and apply the brakes on such unfair coverage. No one should be allowed to use the media, however noble that individual/organization’s intentions might be.




PS: Haha. An art director has designed a superb typeface, exclusively for doctors. Serves them right, I say. If they are going to write their prescriptions in Greek, they may as well use designer lettering.




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One response to “Anil Thakraney: The media is being used”

  1. Brands are always built by using media . So what’s surprising ? Further , here its a case of both using the other . One to build a brand . The other to fill in 24 x 7 news . And if the politician is really in the clear , he’ll surely sue . So chill !

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