Wednesday, August 02, 2017

News is shit!

New is shit nowadays. Ain't it?

I can't understand the need for sensible human beings to sell and pimp their judgement to suit the fancies of the news channels and other sources.

This might sound quite insulting and offensive to many heroic members who take part in passing judgement or forwarding news-based content over the social media and also among their circles.

But I propose this offensive path purely for the purpose of catching the attention of such people, so that I can ask them to first learn to scrutinize news content and the way sources portray news.

What is so wrong or bad in the way news is served?

Lets try to find and write em down. Shall we?

a) News is supposed to be reporting of events based on recorded facts. It shouldn't be making news in the first place. Most news channels, in order to bring exclusive content, select scoop news that has good chances of increasing TRP temporarily. In order to form a good story, many reporters make a good story and fit the facts to suit it. All this sounds fine as long as they do not sell it as news. It should be marketed as 'inspired by real incidents' and be played as a short movie. That provides the entertainment value intended by the news channel, and they get their required TRP too. And no one has a problem with fake news.

b) News sources making judgements not found in the recorded facts. This is the increasing trend which most members of the audience fail to grasp. Though a judgemental article makes for an excellent click-bait and brings good readership/response in social media, it is making a mockery of journalism and its core purpose. Everyone knows that being judgemental is an exciting position for the one who is judging, but the one who is being judged directly or indirectly is being dealt with unfairly. Judgemental individuals can be a pain in the ass based on their reach. So when a news network itself is intentionally judgemental, supported by scores of fans, expert panels, shrewd show hosts and eloquent speakers, the common man's cry for sensible, unbiased facts goes unheard.

c) News sources are off late being very selective in news reporting, indicating their political or business affiliations. Due to the two points above, warring sides can throw news channels and reports against each other with differing sequence of events for the same set of facts. These practices splits the audiences against channels that give undue importance to topics they dislike and pick out wrongs in things they are interested in. Now we have a large ecosystem of divided audience who are blind to any facts presented by the media source that is against their interests. This destroys the credibility that any party wishes to bring forth using the massive reach of these channels. They have all basically spoilt their reputation by splitting ways with unbiased journalism.

d) Influencers who control the news media using political means or financial means are the modern bane of media houses. Coming under attack for the 3 points above, if any individual decides to move away from mainstream techniques above, they are guaranteed to have a bad time. Once a third front opens with unbiased news, it takes only a sentient population to realize the imaginary worlds created by the mainstream media. As long as intelligent news consumers exist in the ecosystem, it is the need of the tycoons to ensure that such independent sources do not rise up to prominence. The techniques used to stall their growth ranges from persuasion,coercion,public humiliation,trapping into losing credibility, starting smear campaigns etc to using political and financial muscle to subdue such sources. This is by far the largest reason for the mainstream media to continue in the same fashion, though the number of media houses keep rising every fiscal.

e) Each media house, as explained above represents a set of ideals, supports selective bigwigs and shuns certain others. In such conditions, the fan following is split for such houses based on their individual preferences. Quite similar to how political party members support their party leaders through thick and thin irrespective of what they personally think about their actions, these fans forget their own personal stances and start worshiping their media houses. They also take up the role of attacking rival houses, defending their house and its ideals against rivals and/or random independent critics. The techniques used for attacking can range from simple arguments using facts,ranting incoherently,taunting etc to participating in smear campaigns using memes and spreading libel. It is quite sad at this point that the very same audience which is being cheated by the media houses and their bigwigs puts out so much of its time and energy on these petty fights instead of fighting to bring real facts out.

News is an entertainment now for many, and it is a source of money for many others. In between that, the lives of people who rely on the reported news being corrected is not really in focus, unless by sheer luck it also happens to bring in good TRP ratings. You would have to convince the media house's manager about this and also need to bring all houses into an agreement if you really want to reap the benefits. Otherwise you'd end up being either torn down or be worshiped albeit temporarily, until they find another juicy piece of news to follow.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Living under a rock

It is when you are involved in a task that usually your mind conjures up strange stuff, the shower thoughts being immensely popular already.

It was during one such moment that I thought of someone who might have been living under a rock for the last one year. If that person( here its myself ) comes out and gets back into civilized life,certain aspects would need a detailed explanation by those around.

I would definitely be surprised by the lowered rates at which I'd be getting mobile internet in India, thanks to Jio whose weird-one-year free packs would take me equally long to understand.

Thinking of getting cleaned up and buy a few groceries if I head to the nearest shopping mall, I would have the surprise of my life when they wouldn't accept the currency notes from my wallet. I would even have a terrible time if I were to be incarcerated for owning money!!

Supposing I didn't get arrested and managed to buy from my card ( whose pin I surprisingly remembered ) and head to the petrol pump with my vehicle, I'd be surprised to face the pink notes and the daily changing rates concept.

Faced with a currency shortage, I would walk to my bank's nearest ATM and find that all ATMs in the vicinity are either super crowded or out of cash. After half an hour of waiting in the queue for another bank's ATM when I manage to get in and swipe my card, I would be horrified to see it complaining that I need to visit my bank before I can do this.

Infuriated I walk into my bank's crowded branch, wait the queue out and finally talk to the personnel, who informs me that I can't get any cash out without my Aadhar card being linked. Drat!

I visit a friend, beg him to withdraw cash from his account and he informs me that the bank now charges withdrawals too. Having seen so much, I find it surprisingly easy to digest and get my purchases done and go into a deep sleep.

Within a week, I stumble upon these significant and complex changes:-
a) The cow has replaced the tiger as the national animal and it is easier to kill a tiger claiming that it is a threat to the cattle population.

b) Secularism has become sickularism and the thought of being equal is highly despicable in society
c) There is a clown leading America into disaster

d) Trolls are the best source of online humour
e) A monopolistic power rules over entire India, almost
f) All news is fake

g) The newborn state of Telangana has taken flight, and there are many more in gestation and conception stages
h) People are talking about metros, highspeed trains, hyperloop and what not..
i) There are more things being banned than being invented
j) Exchange deals seem to look like a thing of the past as GST( its the Indian Area-55) kicks in
k) America isn't everyone's blue-eyed boy anymore
l) Europe has turned into a refugee camp
m) Britain is no longer part of Europe!

n) Govt jobs are the fad now
o) We have more entrepreneurs and religious zealots per to compensate for the decline in large private enterprise

 p) Yo-yo Honey Singh isn't composing anymore, but his inspired versions do!

q) There are more really innovative new Indian startups and individuals making a difference out there
r) More people have become sensitive to balancing development with ecological health
s) The railways have become much neater but long long distances to go

What I am glad (or not so ) hasn't changed:-
a) Prices of things are still increasing

b) The crowd and heat of the cities keep increasing
c) More farmers keep sacrificing their lives and livelihood
d) Number of super rich Indians keep rising
e) Super rich and powerful criminals stay out of reach of law and stay in vogue


I think I should return to my rock and shut this mad world out before it floods me with the idiosyncrasies and paradoxes.