The power of words and breaking news


Words can have more of an impact than most of us realize.

This thing dawned upon me two days ago, when i was watching an interesting debate on TV regarding the Law concerning Juvenile delinquents in India and how badly it has been framed. One of the news anchors almost sputtered with indignation when he said, “India is facing a constitutional emergency.”

Well maybe we are.

I flicked over to another news channel. Same issue – different people debating it. Next channel – same issue yet again. Oh and all of this was covered under “breaking – news”. I guess all of us have been broken many times by this breaking news…how the same news can continue to break us for over three hours at a stretch also amazes me. It should be called “broken – news” – don’t you think?

Sad jokes aside, this particular debate was being aired at 9 PM. Prime time television…when most families would be eating dinner.

The next day, i opened the newspaper and was greeted with news regarding Kamal Hassan’s movie being caught in the midst of a political melodrama. The newspaper did not mince words in denouncing the “lack of freedom of expression” of Hassan as a director and how politics in India is getting dirtier by the minute.

More bad news, i thought as i read the article, feeling gloomy.

And then i realized that half of the cause of this gloom is the media.

Maybe my mood does get affected my what’s happening around. Maybe i do care about what is happening to my country. And maybe i have realised that all the TV channels and newspapers have a huge social responsibility. Perhaps half of them don’t even realize it – how words can affect the mood of a nation. If it affects me, it must be affecting a lot of other people as well.

Maybe the folks back in NCR would not have protested like they did if they hadn’t been egged on by the media. Which is one good thing – we atleast got the Verma panel onboard and changed some laws for the better.

But lets not forget that there are a lot of things that the media sensationalizes and sometimes cooks – up. Are we headed the paparazzi way? I think so. Remember the “abhi-ash” wedding? What utter rubbish. And oh – lets not forget the infamous reporting of how our commandos were planning to break into the Taj during the terrorist attacks – which actually helped the terrorists as well. Well done guys – kudos to you. (Please sense the sarcasm here).

Words are dangerous fellas – please use them with care…and you are representing the views of a nation so be careful about what you report and how you report it.

Peace out.

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