‘The Great Indian Media Circus’

Visual Concept : Manjiri Jayesh

 

I must confess, I am thoroughly confused,..er.. amused..

The confusion is actually quite routine nowadays but when it comes to my own industry, it worries me.. Since insanity hasn’t completely set in and that’s out of the way for now, I have no recourse but to examine the reasons behind my incomprehensibility of the nonsense that I am witnessing every day.

At first, it was only this social media business that intrigued me; the amazing ability to turn anyone into a Frankenstein was a frightening prospect and each hour came with it’s share of excitement and amusement. Some twerp who has spent 16 months in the media industry would pop in to question the fundamentals of media. No! time spent in the industry has no relevance, but the right kind of acumen and experience does.

Now, if you have been flogging copies of a newspaper for these 16 months and begin to question editorial policy and journalists at large, then there is definitely a problem. From mauling author’s and artists they troll us all quite unabashedly. I often wonder where this ilk is emanating from.

Its almost like an innocuous trail of ants on your floor. They crawl out of cubby holes and appear on your timeline with amazing regularity; It’s a different matter that you don’t know them from Adam, but that is entirely a different matter.

The point is that they appear out of nowhere till you tick them off, once for all.

Now this is a skill I have developed over the past 12 months. The only way you can deal with these ‘enlightened monkeys’ is by telling them to just stay away from your timeline. Some go on to comment on other’s posts till they are fumigated out of the space.

Coming to think of it, fumigation is a huge business opportunity and I am seriously considering the possibility of introducing this service.

“Call … and we will have your timeline fumigated; service comes with a 6 month warranty. Can exterminate the worst of pests”

Just when I learnt the subtle art of tackling these intruders, the circus has now extended to mainline media and television beaming right into the living room!

A man with all the facts, screaming and shouting every night was bad enough; now its accompanied by this weird jumping up and down on the chair.

I seriously wonder if it’s a fistula issue. Pune would then be a good destination then, since we boast of some of these overzealous proctologists who scream staples, on humungous bill boards. It’s almost like the best thing that has happened to mankind. Staple your way to freedom from a painful posterior.

Honestly, does everything in the human anatomy, (appendages and eruptions included) have to be publicised ?

But then, that is the world today; And the media screams about everything now, be it the cattle ban, or the cricket match, we just won.

Hearing the fireworks last night I wondered if this was really an epic battle to give it so much emotion. We played well and they didn’t, but was this really a top of the line match?

No, I am no major cricket fan but the over hype I suspect is more our character now. From meek anchors who turn into loud and incisive people overnight to experts who are invited on news channel panels. Some pre-historic, the others, highly opinionated and yet, they all come with an amazing repertoire of standard comments that they believe fit into any debate.

It’s quite something actually, since most often it is the same ‘expert’ who is called in for anything ranging from neighbour politics to the beef ban..

And it doesn’t end here. Media is far more convoluted than you can imagine.

Competitive wars and all the nonsense about multiple LCN’s and so on raged for the past two weeks (By the way, it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand these acronym). Yet, the channels remain unchanged. The learning that we gained however was that it would be more prudent to keep other buttons on your remote handy, rather than worry about who is screaming down the other. And then, the legal brawls and now, raids to top it all !

This is getting quite something isn’t it?

Interestingly, somewhere, in the midst of all this confusion, lie you and me and millions of other readers, viewers and netizens who pray for better sense to prevail.

At this rate, media (social included) will soon only be the domain of highly animated audiences who seek eternal ego massage.

No surprise really; It is the ‘The Great Indian Media Circus’ after all, and we, it’s star attraction!

p.s.  At the rate at which the business is getting funnier, there is a distinct possibility that I may have to write an entire series on the circus. 

 

#The views expressed in this column are the authors.

Jaisurya Das

Jaisurya Das

The industry affectionately calls him a Marketing Maverick; Known to be brutally candid with his writing as much as everything else, Jd is a much respected media and brand commentator whose prolific writing sees no boundaries.

Jd also consults in Consumer Neuroscience and Neuromarketing, both of which are integral to his brand interventions.
Jaisurya Das

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