By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
If you have the misfortune of having an interest in the topics such as news and current affairs, economics, security, politics, etc. you’ll be sorely disappointed in the content that is being churned out in the name of news.
In the past few weeks, you’ll barely find anything on the news channels other than panelists and anchors debating seemingly endlessly on Mosques, Temples, and surveys. It’s not that these topics shouldn’t be discussed but it should not be the case that there is no other topic to discuss. We live in a time where news has turned into entertainment and the downside is that we are living in a false belief that what we are watching on TV is news. It’s a one-way communication of sorts where rather than an objective presentation of facts, distortions and narratives are being peddled in the name of news.
I hardly find these news anchors quoting history books or visiting historic archives to back their claims. Rather than calling archeological experts to shed light on the subject, political observers are being called on live TV to flame passions and create a distraction from things that matter. Inflation is a major concern for the economy, so much so that the government had to reduce some nine rupees of petrol, though many believe that it is too little too late.
Inflation, unemployment, and rising inequality should be something that should be on everyone’s mind, and yet that discussion is absent from the public sphere. The state of media is not new in India but the state of the mindset of common folks is surprising. There is hardly any desire to hold media and government accountable on governance, economic, and law and order issues.
As a citizenry, we should hold our office bearers accountable. Sri Lanka is an ideal example for everyone to see. Unhinged, unchecked power in the hands of a few individuals who don’t feel accountable or answerable to anyone and don’t like the journalists who find faults, seems like a familiar pattern? Media is the key to controlling public opinion, a fair media I believe is even good for leaders with dictatorial tendencies because it not only keeps them in check but also shows them a perspective they would not hear otherwise. An open media not only shows you flaws in the governance but also tells you about the areas for improvement. Moreover, it gives a vent to public anger, it lets out the pressure and public anger which otherwise, not finding a proper outlet, inevitably spills into street protests. The problem lies in power, it’s intoxicating, and politicians of our time can’t hold their drink.