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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

How will the media evolve..(Part 1: News)

I mean both newspapers and news channels. Here are some of my observations which I personally feel strange about:

1) As per "The Economist": In 2004, NBC's evening news show devoted just five minutes to the genocide in Darfur, CBS a mere three and ABC, .... 18. By contrast, they together devoted 130 minutes to the plight of Martha Stewart.
2) Closer home, Govinda's wife's accident got much more coverage than our P.M.'s independence day speech on news channels..The accident also was the key front page news item in the newspaper I keep (Free Press Journal-usually non-tabloidish)..I had to search through the paper to see the P.M.'s speech article

Has the news media lost touch with .. er news?
Now one may say that that we get what we deserve, that our appetite has changed with times, that Govinda's wife affects our day-to-day lives more than P.M.'s speeches or Naxal killings. But what about this:
In today's Free-Press-Journal, they did a very noble thing of translating Vande Mataram to English (I say noble as the state of things is such that many think A.R Rehman wrote this song). But the translation was in Shakespearean English with words like thee, thy, hath, etc. in abondon..So who has lost touch with the audience - media or the audience themselves?
By the way, today's news are not just about celebrities, I think its more about sensations..People with cable homes and access to english newspapers are hardly excited by Village Road schemes or death of some MLA Reddy...So for them the "Gateway of India" stabbing is so very "Tell-me-more" ..So I feel that news media will evolve into more of pure celebrity/ sensation media...But someone will have to give the traditional news- may be the traditional stuff we call news will come as risk disclosures on mutual-fund advertisements...(statements like mutual fund investments are subject to market risks et al)
Watch a mutual-fund ad and after the main feel-happy theme, the ad tells the risk-disclosures in a super high speed voice-over while a very fine print comes on the screen...The same happens in newspaper ads where they appear in very fine print....Will traditional news items like P.M.'s speeches, budgets and Naxal killings have the same fate?


Charukesi said...

I keep hearing that this is what people want - and therefore, "news" sources serve it to them. but I don't agree - surely people want to read and watch real news?

if you think newspapers are bad (and they are verrry bad), then you must watch news channels. the minute the bombay rains became old news and they had exhausted all exciting footage, they launched into 'Karisma ka Karishma' - a feature on the state of Karisma Kapoor's marriage. prime time news program.


Anu said...

I am sick of hearing about Karishma's marriage, how many people does it effect and why should someone's personal affair be a subject for an hour long prime time news...

Shivaji said...

agree...its the first news item on the front page of most news papers nowadays...
And my perception is that in India, people in general are much cool to celebrities compared to say US, Thailand or Japan...I don't know why the Indian media sees it so differently..