ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘channel

India Australia Series: Is the hype real?

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Of Late, India-Australia Cricket has become a huge affair. No stone remains unturned towards a memorable and saleable experience. Same goes for the current Test series. While Players are busy churning out high quality of cricket, Media is busy churning out equally sensational stuff. Let me put down a few from both print and visual media.

Why did Ganguly announce sudden retirement?
The Holy Grail! The news channel famous for its sting ops claimed to have laid its hands on the “real” truth. Whole affair was portrayed as some Watergate scandal waiting to be unearthed. The news went, “Ganguly ki beizzati ki thi tyaari. Dada ko nahin chahiye thi yeh beizzati. Dada ne kiya kinare hone ka faisla”. According to the channel, Kumble had plans to leave out Ganguly from the first test match squad. He wanted to avenge the insult that Ganguly laid on him by not playing him during the 2003 World Cup despite his constant pleads. According to the “well placed” sources it would not be possible for Kumble to keep Ganguly out now.

Kumble and the 2 CD’s
The same channel claimed that Kumble-the captain have played 2 VCD’s to the team. First one contained clippings from the farcical Sydney test, Australia claiming dropped catches and the Monkeygate scandal. The second one relived Kolkata 2001. It got players pumped up. CD may or may not have pumped up the players but this news would for sure have left viewers boiling and hungry for revenge against the Australians.

Oz media slam Ganguly for delaying tactics in ‘farcical draw’
This was a heading from the PTI. I searched online for related articles by the Australian media. I checked Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and others but couldn’t find any such report. What I found was a single article titled “Farcical draw like kissing mother-in-law” by some Andrew McKinlay. PTI claimed as if the entire Oz media was after Ganguly.

Recently, according to a report BCCI advised a sports channel not to advertise this as revenge and hatred filled series. Whatever be the case, sometimes such reporting do help in keeping up the popularity of the sport. I for one enjoyed run-in’s between Zaheer and Haddin, Shane Watson’s antics and Brett Lee’s glare a lot among other things. In fact I might not have enjoyed the match so much but for the media backed controversies.

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Media: right or WRONG

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Last week a leading news channel was seen patting its back. It carried out an operation in Delhi. A female reporter walked on the road alone during the night to catch the person/persons who tried to take advantage of her.

One must say that this was a clear master stoke. However there seems to be a flaw. It served no positive purpose other than to add to the TRP of the news channel. On the hindsight it did some harm.

Firstly, let me go into as to why nothing positive came out of it. “Are the women safe at night?” is one such question as, “Is cigarette smoking not injurious to health”. Come’ on all of us know that answer to both the questions is a stern NO. What the channel tried to do by proving a well known fact, is far from my understanding. In fact a few days ago, even the Delhi CM agreed that roads are not safe for the females at night. Had the issue been “how this should be resolved”, channel should have been patted. It would have helped creating a better environment. But I guess, it’s easier to be a part of the problem than to be of the solution.

Secondly, why it did some harm? Consider the scenario that the car of a lady broke down at night. Now would anyone stop to help her? I think not. He would be more worried that if the lady turns out to be a reporter in disguise, he would be shown on television as a beast trying to take advantage of a stranded girl. This number would be much higher than the number of real criminals who would turn away due to the fear of being exposed. So in effect it would do more harm than good.

Written by arpitgarg

October 13, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Sai speaks: The pillar is shaking

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“What you are going to witness today is an out and out miracle. It has happened for the first time in the history of the universe. It is earth shattering and totally phenomenal. You can catch this live and exclusive only on your most trusted news channel!”

Last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to spend a considerable time in front of the idiot box, as they call it. At college I usually follow news online, but at home its 24×7 news channels for me. Truly speaking, more often than not they turn out to be a great time pass. Last few weeks we saw the Noida murder case and the Gujjar agitation occupying the prime-time. Barring a few incidences, most of it, I felt was an example of some good journalism, if not brilliant.

Amidst all this I felt the emergence of a parallel journalism, owing to the cut-throat competition among the ever increasing number of news channels. This journalism is not shying away from running close to being yellow. One such news item caught my attention lately.

It was the most celebrated and most debated news report of “Speaking Sai Baba”. I was all the more interested in the news item as my family worships Sai Baba and I personally too, am a great fan of his preaching. A video was on air which depicted the speaking Sai. A prime time news report followed. The reporter of a leading news channel took calls, asked for reactions and discussed this miracle.

I felt a bit confused. I could easily make out, what was being aired was nothing but an animation clip, that too an amateurish effort. Well, one may argue that I am a computer engineer from IIT and it would have been a bit easy for me to distinguish between an animation and a video recording. True, but believe me, it would have taken no Bill Gates, to check the validity of the said video.

My point is, was the channel not wrong, in not getting it tested by an expert before catering it to the viewers. Leave aside the sanctity of God that they put on hold, what sort of journalism says that any unverified news report can be telecasted? Has the thirst to go on air first and bring exclusive news grown so much that the ethics of journalism are being put to ransom.

But maybe, I am missing the point here. The said news was not for all and sundry. It was a very clever drama enacted for a large chunk of people like us who believe in Sai. We people are nothing but a viewer ship base. Our feelings and sentiments are nothing but a TRP.

Should someone not ask the channel in question, what was the revenue earned during the period the news was on air, by how much were the ad rates hiked during that particular news program and what was the jump in overall viewer ship ratings of the channel. But I know, the channel couldn’t care less and as I have said already media sell what sells.

One might argue that media is not solely to be blamed. Viewers should be responsible enough and not just blindly follow everything and anything that’s put on air. True, but then what’s the difference between an entertainment channel and news channel. Today our nation believes what’s on the news. And why not, news channels are seen today as a forum for the common man, a potent weapon against the system. This makes the need for news channels being responsible, all the more important.

Perhaps what’s there to realize is that such acts add little to the strength of the fourth pillar.

Written by arpitgarg

June 19, 2008 at 8:58 pm

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