Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The media's ADD

Hunt for sound bites and the next breaking news has relegated serious research and discussion on matters of national significance to an unimportant exercise. How many national news media put serious thought, carried out any research and objectively discussed matters concerning our nation? None. Instead what passes off as debate is political opponents bickering enticed by the hosts. Arun Shourie, echoing my thoughts, laments the frivolous nature of journalism in vogue today.

In an interview to Claude Apri -

[...] Previously, whatever would happen, the media would go into depth (into the issue). As you know, today the media is as superficial as the politicians. It is even more ephemeral, one day there is a big issue, the next day, it is forgotten. 'Breaking News' (sometimes) lasts a shift, not even for the day.

[...] Sometimes journalists hear that I had spoken in Parliament or a particular issue is (being debated); journalists come and insist (to have my reaction). They come with a microphone and TV crew. They tell me: 'Sir, there was an issue in the morning, what was the issue?' I tell (the subject of the debate) the chap who then says: 'Sir, our editor is sending us, please tell us what question we should ask you.' (Laughs.) It is a really a fact.

Or questions like this: 'Please, sir, tell us, are you for the Budget or against it?' What can you respond? This is the level that issues are treated.

It is true for the Budget or any other matters, 90 percent of journalists will ask you such questions. [...]

[...] not more than one correspondent who came to interview me had read the documents. And yet, apart from this correspondent and perhaps three or four politicians who had read the documents (nuclear deal), everybody had an opinion: 'We should go with America!' Or 'We should be against!' This type of opinion!

The point that I am making is that the examination (of the issue) is not at all present and yet in that particular case (the nuclear deal), it requires no more than 75 pages to read. [Link]

Yet that won't stop the editors pontificating from their studios. Apparently they seem to think, their opinion is all the matters.

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