‘A Barking Dog without a Tale’

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

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‘A Barking Dog without a Tale’

Sidharth Bedi Varma | September 13, 2020 11:47 hrs


The watchdogs of the country are fast turning into just dogs, and much like the wild, rabid dogs, they seem to be making a lot of noise.  


The fast spread of rabies draws a parallel to a TRP hungry channel biting another with their ratings, and that channel bites another and then another and so on until every channel (or at least most of them) follow the trend. 


There was a time when quality journalism was about chasing the story, but now it is about chasing terms – TRP, Users, Engagement, Scroll Depth, Pageviews, etc.


While media trials became very common with people like ArGo at the helm of affairs, the coverage and follow up stories on the death of Sushant Singh Rajput has become somewhat ridiculous. It appears that the Indian media has lost the plot. The one-up-man-ship that the media is showing in the SSR case by being the judge, jury and executioner indicates that TRP is no more a consideration but the necessity.


There is a new spin to a story every day and the media seems to be investigating more than the police. 
 

Where are the stories on the youth?  Where are the figures on unemployment? By talking about Bollywood drama, how are we empowering the next generation? Where are the headlines for the hundreds of farmers committing suicide or the soldiers who are fighting off enemy advances at the border? Why did the focus from the frontline warriors change, the moment there weren’t any more dancing or singing videos by doctors? Is there no newsworthiness if there is no entertainment?


Are we to blame newsrooms who chase stories that sell or just the viewers/readers who have become lazier thanks to SEO friendly headlines, intuitive technology, and adaptive AI?


Is it “this over that?” or the classic question of what came first – chicken or the egg?

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