Switch on the TV at Prime Time to any News Channel. You are greeted with screaming anchors with a know-all look trying to restore peace as politicians, party leaders, and what have you, who are participants indulge in mud-slinging, character assassination, religious bias in a voice which would have made Luiciano Pavarotti proud.
Yes, TV debates have been reduced to shouting matches where nonsense prevails over sense. Sadly, these TV debates only cater for entertainment value with the impressionable as their prime target. Gone are the days when a news debate would mean sensible talk and quiet disagreements as participants express their opinions, for or against.
Let’s look at the anchors first.
They have only one agenda – play a blind referee and let the participants get at each other’s throat.
Very few anchors command respect. Ravish Kumar of NDTV India is one.
Many of these anchors are ignorant of facts and swing as the wind blows. The participants are people in high places with only one agenda – squash all opposition with a wagging finger in a loud voice. There are many factors which have reduced these debates to a joke.
To get to the root of the problem, one has to study the mentality of media bosses and their staff.
It’s all in the money, honey.
Most TV barons have sold their souls to the Devil and fallen to the lure of the lucre. If the boss does it, then can the staff be far behind?
In the bargain the word ethics has been sacrificed at the altar of truth.
Dirty journalism and fake news have taken over and what counts is the TRP.
In the bargain, TV channels have lost their trust as purveyors of the truth with the viewer.
Debates have fast turned into a Trial by Media. The 2G scam is a point in example when the highest court in the country dismissed the case on lack of evidence.
But due to the media’s high profile trial on TV many innocents had lost a few precious years of their lives behind bars and their reputation tarnished forever. The thick-skinned media was left shamefaced by the 2G scam but the lesson was never learnt.
This is one of many cases which have influenced public opinion with wrong information.
The media must understand that they shape public opinion and the naïve will swallow the bilge eagerly. In fact, the news on TV channels have been reduced to a mere propaganda mouthpiece of the government, opposition or any other authority.
They twist the news in such a way that it favours the one who fills their coffers.
This blatantly done with no care for the viewer. There are some anchors who come up with imaginary topics just to gain viewership. Unfortunately this type of journalism has spread recently like a cancer. The press bodies are unable to curb it.
The finger wagers have been having a field day with prime time TV, spreading hatred through the medium. The anchors are playing the fiddle while the debate burns. Truth never prevails. It slides into a quick death.
Journalism is dead and buried, folks. No need to waste that drop of tear.