What are today’s news channels up to? To outshine others, these channels are serving only (mainly) Bollywood, cricket, crime and politics – strictly in that order. What about other happenings that hold more importance but are overlooked?
Bollywood is a fascination, which helps to promote everything, right from fabric to soaps to potato chips to cold drinks and even sells magazines and newspapers. Not to be left behind are our TV news channels. For these, it is the news stories (and of course, the gossips), which are needed to push their Television Rating Points (TRPs).
Prime Hindi TV news channels are more prone to this phenomenon. Sanjay Dutt and Manyata hook up stories, with all the ‘spicy’ details, were a special saga for a full day, as if nothing else had happened in the country that day! Story of Saif-Kareena, their possible link-up or break up, was an exclusive story for the news channels at a time when lot else was happening in India but got weaned away in this Bollywood glamour.
If something is close to or after Bollywood, it is cricket that takes away the limelight. Next is crime, which now has special late night editions, and of course, politics. In fact, when one sees all this, one gets impression that India is shining, all is going great. But in the race of escalating the TRPs by showing such stories, scores of other stories in this country hardly get any needed space on the prime Hindi TV news channels.
In a country where still a majority earns less then two dollar a day, many die every minute, every second child is malnourished, and we still have starvation deaths – life is not as rosy as it looks on these channels! But for media, Abhishek Bachchan-Aishwaraya Rai marriage was like a mad frenzy. Yuvraj’s rumoured affair with Deepika Padukone hit the headlines for many days. Bollywood with cricket, two big ‘news selling products’ packed in one gossip! Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) has launched Indian premier league, wherein Bollywood stars have franchised two teams. Shahrukh Khan has a team from Kolkata and Preity Zinta has a team from Mohali. Let’s see what would this killer combination bring to the fold for TV news channels.
Stories of malnutrition among children, infant deaths, maternal deaths, poor state of primary education, water scarcity, hardly get any major space on these prime Hindi TV news channels. Recently, a president of parents’ teacher association (PTA) of a primary government school in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh (MP) had burnt himself in protest for want of school building for the students. Except few not many covered it, inspite of being a first incident of its kind in India when someone had given his life for the cause of school building for children. Though some are conscious and do cover developmental stories and sometimes exceptionally good ones. But here the worry is that with the growing competition, issues of people might get left behind.
Contributed by anil