Disclaimer : No journalist or media-person was harmed during the making of this blog post.
You wake up everyday. I’m sure you woke up today, too. Once you are done with that, you get started with your routine. And one of the commonest human rituals is to read newspaper or to switch on the TV for news. (Unless you are one of those lucky people who are illiterate but content with their mundane ignorance!) Now, if your day begins with news, what does it say about you as a person? You are curious? Yup, always been. Want to stay abreast of current affairs? Great!
But what exactly do you do with all that you read and learn and watch presented under the garb of news? Nothing, in most cases. Following news is just another evolutionary practice inculcated into our daily life for knowledge’s sake. There is not much one can do about a majority of stuff out there on the paper or screen. So why are we so fond of news, be it good or bad? Because we are an entertainment-loving species and news is gossip presented in a very refined manner. As elementary as that.
On a personal scale, I relish half-baked truths. I have them for breakfast daily. The French in me calls it biscuit. They call it news. To add to the misery, I read something or the other every morning which tells me I should quit reading them. But I never do. In fact, the recent events revolving around Barkha Dutt, and the 2G scam... made me realize that even some of the oldest media giant might go down for news. Meanwhile, I’ve got no doubt that the world would miraculously change for the better the day we stopped reading newspapers. But then, even if I switched to TV, I’d still be hopeless. After all, in India, the thin line separating TV news from TV soaps is almost invisible now. And this has been the case long before India TV decided to put the media in comedian.
You see, there might be absolutely nothing out there to report but our media will beautifully turn it into news for gab-hungry masses. Anyone can create news out of thin air. If nothing else works, the media can report on the thinness of the air. [No, wait, the weather bureau is already doing that, aren’t they?] Moreover, watching news destroys a few of those newsworthy moments that could have been ours. Being the minions that we are, we’ll never know what is true and what is being reported as true. Unfortunately, rumours won't give up on news at any cost and vice versa. Fortunately, the spread of fire will never catch up with the spread of its news.
One lesson newspaper teaches us every single day – better not believe every crap you read. Times changes, perceptions changes and of course, news changes. Remember when they got Osama (at last) and how he got killed by breaking news? No one was allowed to see his face nor his dead body but we somehow managed to gulp the shoddy information of his demise. At that moment, the less you looked out for news, the more you’re convinced of the sheer wastage of time and energy.
And the hard part is when they collect too many viewpoints at once and make you look confused than a newborn dinosaur. Goes without saying, the plural of news is nuisance. As a part of social experiment, we should read last week's newspapers and ascertain its relevance in present day, if at all. Or not check news, at all.
You’ll never come across a channel which will go “We’ve got breaking news for you! Damn. We just broke it!” That’s the whole point. There’s hardly anything sacred about truth or news or journalism at large. I don’t mean to sound cynical but everything is commerce now-a-minutes. And the day each one of us is happy is the day news dies.