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Media needs to be tamed!

Gone are the days when the media used to uphold highest standards in reporting and used to consist of people with integrity. Like all other institutions, the media in India has deteriorated to absolutely pathetic levels. Real issues are sidelined and only issues that advance the vested interests of the media and/ or the political friends are showcased. Real issues of hunger and price rise is hardly addressed and instead, the daily routine of people in the world of glamour is flashed along the front pages. Page 3 has come onto page 1 now. Similarly, news and actual happenings are twisted to suit their personal agendas and vested interests. Its high time the people of India tame the media. If India has to progress, we first need to liberate the media from the illness that it is suffering from. 

silkboard's picture

Hard to do

Most folks who I have met through Praja say similar things.

But how do you remedy this situation - possibly via Praja type entities combined with new generation "locally focused" media (like citizenmatters). But then, two things there:

  1. is there a real market for 'real' news or analysis, and even if it exists,
  2. new entities will require capital to grow and serve more people (ex: Praja needs resources to reach out via mobile phones).

Eventually, to sustain, or to grow, you require resources - aka capital. And once you go down that loop, there would be competition. And then, to cope with that, you would see bikini supplements, and semi-nude models on sports pages (I always thought sports was one page where you don't need such stuff, but TOI's marketing managers know us better, but anyway).

How do you come out of this deadlock? Or am I overstating this thing?

srkulhalli's picture

Log on to Praja instead !

The way out is to vote with your feet, or rather your eyes. Stop watching news on television, stop reading the so called "news"papers and save yourself some precious time every day. And log on to Praja where you can have more interactive and intelligent discussions and spend that time usefully instead :)

If enough of us start doing it, the system will eventually clean itself. You definitely dont need them in ANY way, they however need you to exist.



idontspam's picture


Before we go around taming the media etc help me understand

1. What is the objective of news?

2. What is the objective of analysing a story? 

3. What is a perspective? 

4. What is the differentiator between news channels if they all carry the same story? 

silkboard's picture

you do need them

idontspam, will try answer you first, will jump to the last question, which is what you wanted to get at I think.

1) Why do you assume that they all have to carry the same story? Right now, I would say that there are a lot of uncovered stories out there, so many that there needn't be this race to cover the same story in in "my different way". The assumption you want to attack is that most media thinks that only certain types of stories can "sell". Everyday stories, daily hassles, local stuff, whats happening around the street - not that all this type of stuff is not covered. But perhaps the best brains are put to analyzing global warming, sub-prime mortgage, obama's policies etc, while the stuff you and me deal with everyday is left to the freshies out of mass communications and NMIMS like colleges.

Wonder if it has become like a funny circle where people who have the power to shape the trends are in the business of following the trends.

2) Lets say above is not true, and that there are more media houses than stories out there. So, there is a need to provide different "perspectives". Even then, the job I would expect the media to do is to report on various "perspectives" out there in the society, and not supply new ones of their own. There is a slight difference.

However, yes, when you are in the business of selling anything, market forces certain things on you. And media can certainly hide behind that excuse.

Suhas - you do need them. The best ecosystem perhaps is the one where big media houses are feeding on hundreds of Praja like entities around the country. Big papers = car makers, and Praja type things = supplier of parts, the ancilliary industry. Such a system could ensure better "connection", coverage, access to more . This could also be cost effective for the big media houses as some basic "bubbling up" would already have happened before things reach them.

But, media houses first have to realize that this thing is complimentry and not competitive. Just last month, a senior journalists from Indian Express was making fun of "citizen journalists" (he spoke at graduation ceremony or similar at NMIMS Kengeri). His point was (quoting from DH) - "show me citizen docotrs, citizen engineers ... there are no such people". So, naturally, there can be no citizen journalists, this was his line of thinking. How dumb and ill designed a logic, hah.

When people can get to connect directly with the sources, journalists may start getting regarded as unwanted middlemen. I am being more harsh than I should be there, but the point is that Internet (people to people connectivity) would bring this pressure to add more value besides simple conveying or fudging the messages and information. Media needs to be ready.

And they have about 7-8 years, not more :)

idontspam's picture

 I would expect the media to

 I would expect the media to do is to report on various "perspectives" out there in the society, and not supply new ones of their own. 

  1. Unless it is a press release it has to be a perspective. If it is former there is no need for a journalist (this is where they get haughty and jealous)
  2. Why not? If society can supply perspectives they have the right to supply their own without compromising journalistic ethics. 

Future of media? Here are 2 signs

  1. Newspapers in the US are shutting down as they have become unprofitable. 
  2. Huffingtonpost gets called on at the White House press briefing inviting the wrath of MSM

This is interesting question for the future of news reporting

When people can get to connect directly with the sources, journalists may start getting regarded as unwanted middlemen

Who is a journalist and/or reporter and how will online fora like blogs replace the role of a journalist? 

Coming back to the point I was trying to make to the example in the original post. I still do not understand what is taming the media? If a particular channel is broadcasting entertainment instead of economic news, switch to a business news channel. If nobody is covering a topic of interest start one here on praja or various other blog sites including ones of the channels who are not showing the stuff, become a CJ. Praja has shown there is space for things not covered. What do you want to do now? Create a rule book of things to be covered in the news? I dont understand the illness. Freedom to choose is here. Make use of it or create the choice if there isnt none.

silkboard's picture

yes yes, taming is not the word

Oh yes, forgot to mention that the original post here is not using the right words - there is nobody to be "tamed" here. Knowing Mayank's own biased opinions etc (from past and moderated posts here), he is thinking curtailed freedom and regulations. Imposing regulations usually means running with an ideologists rule-book.

You and me are on this tangent of making media do more to play the part that is missing in our public space - true public auditing and accounting with broad coverage on the ground.

If someone can write a better worded, and example filled lead post, we can try to restart this discussion.

s_yajaman's picture

How is this relevant to this forum?

Isn;t this one of those general non-specific posts that we keep reading?  Moderator/admin - time to take this off.


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

srkulhalli's picture

Some comments on the media

IDS, good questions, unending discussion, if this needs to be taken off, pls do so. My answers and I will close with it

Before we go around taming the media etc help me understand

Taming is the wrong word. In my case ignoring would be better. I am not of the opinion  that we need an oversight or regulatory body. That will just add its colouring to the existing mess. We definitely need to keep freedom of speech and free market. Mine was a suggestion at an individual level (my freedom of speech:)

1. What is the objective of news?

The big problem is I think news is getting confused with entertainment. But leaving that aside, an ideal scenario is where news is both a feedback mechanism as well as forward looking mechanism which helps society correct its problems and improve on itself.

Simple eg: could be storm water drain accident. Alerts the public, they are safer, puts pressure on authorities to improve.

2. What is the objective of analysing a story? 

Get in different perspectives. Help understand the issue better. More well researched solutions

3. What is a perspective? 

I get where you are driving at. Perspective is OK, distortion is not.  Eg:

Correct news:

In riots between Delhi'ites and Bangalorite's 3 delhi'ites and 2 bangalore'ites were killed


Bangalore'ites killed 3 delhi'ites in commercial street .......//.. ......... A total of five people have died from the violence so far.

There could be different perspectives on why the riots took place and what is the solution to it. That is OK

Got the difference ? 

4. What is the differentiator between news channels if they all carry the same story? 

My point was more driven at Mayank. If you are unhappy with food at a resturaunt, you dont go there again. Similarly if you find the news channel not of good quality, you always have the freedom to switch it off.  Utilise it.  Thats all I am saying.



idontspam's picture

I see the difference

 Correct news: In riots between Delhi'ites and Bangalorite's 3 delhi'ites and 2 bangalore'ites were killed

Distortion: Bangalore'ites killed 3 delhi'ites. In further escalating tensions, 2 more people were killed.


Why do you call the second one a "distortion"? It the same as the first "correct" one and infact puts the events in proper sequence and why it happened. So I would say the second is more accurate and valuable as a news item than the first one.

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

IV Estate surviving on 'barest' sensational eposures


Media did its part in exposing the system failures in our flawed democracy for longer than expected.  The subject is passe and does not increase the sales graph anymore. Masala is the mantra for survival with the new motto - the more you bare your pages and prime time, the more you survive and the more the lucre.

Jounralism appears to have compromised in 'quality' and 'quantity' and is resorting to gimmicks like arms twisting of political sector - (you scratch my back and I will scratch your back attitude), corporate (gifts) sector and criminal  (contacts) sectors.  Applies mutatis mutandis to print and electronic media.

The more one 'bares' the pages the more a journal can survive - page 3 shifted to page 1, bikini-babes on back pages, who swindled whom, who raped whom, who conned whom, who succombed to whose flowery 'operation', who ditched who whom, whose wardrobes malfunctioned while walking the ramps by figurine faminines... the list is long.  The bread, butter and now JAM also through these...

Aam aadmi's sufferings are printed in the smallest of small fonts in an obscure corner.  

'Dinaa saayuvavani aluvavaru yaaru'?   (who is there to cry for those who die daily?)

- To hell with his vote; it can be bought anyways.

Development is a continuous process and media is undergoing a make over for the worst.  

Survival of the 'barest' is the mantra.

PS: Praja is also a form of media but luckily with more merits; it is not a DOT COM and I am sure it will remain so and also will not succomb to the 'call of the commerce' at any time in future.

- Vasanth Mysoremath     

idontspam's picture

Commerce calling

...will not succomb to the 'call of the commerce' at any time in future.

I would prefer a convergence where a newspaper owned Praja as an extension, or the other way around(if SB is rich or has VC friends). There has to be synergies between the two though. Just thinking aloud.

The newspaper media is plain stupid and live in the dark ages. They dont know how to come out of their limitations and the most they do is put their papers up online and a ton of ads in between. This is reactive thinking. They dont understand how to leverage convergence. 

ushakiran's picture

Media makes confuse.

Hi ,
 Frankly speaking i really feels  Why?media gets mixed up wth everythg at once. They are

not even concern on one topic gives false statement too . They give only abt stupid relation

abt love affairs. who went where? all unwanted ? i think y nt praja make a point to be News 

Channal. Its all live Words &  Expression frm heart . Wht poeples feel  abt it ?  They speak out in

Letter forms .I belive .  Thank u

Usha Kiran
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