Tuesday, July 03, 2012

National Past Time

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

India is a country where the population is voracious in reading the news papers.  Its guaranteed each page and each line get read every day with the diligence of a student preparing for final exams, and not only read but also get discussed in the normal discussions following the news reading.  We not only love to read but also discuss the news and the scuttlebutt that goes with the news and make up our own assumptions on what is being reported.  Added to the news papers we also have television and now the internet adding the feed to the ever curious public which is always interested in continuing to follow the story, however long and old it might be.

Prior to the television and internet bombarding people with mostly hearsay and gossip as news, the news papers were the only source of fodder for people, and they were read very diligently by the public.  Many folks waited for the paper to arrive, as it was as addictive as the morning coffee.  Not a day would go by without going through the new paper from page one to the last, and then sharing the same with everyone around.

When television become a common medium to dispense stories, people were still interested in news papers, but their daily dose of gossip was now not limited to one news paper being delivered daily but along with the daily paper, the 24/7/365 barrage of journalistic melodrama.  With so many channels and so many agendas, it is difficult to believe what are throwing at us at breakneck speeds, and if you flip the channel the exact opposite of the story will be communicated.  There is 100% affiliation of each channel to a particular political party or individuals with a certain caste or religious affiliation.  The conviction that is shown in delivering gibberish without facts is absolute to the audience that it is catering to, and absolutely no bones are made in just throwing accusations and innuendo, without any facts.

Every political party has their mouthpiece in every language and they constantly badger people with glory of their affiliates while constantly batter the opposition or people who are not of their following.  Incredible stories are relayed as if they are facts, and no one goes back to recant their obvious lack of verification.  The international standards in presentation are the only truth to the journalistic behavior, and everything else is made-up on the fly.  The congressional and bureaucratic agencies selectively leak information to their favorite channels regularly, without identifying themselves, and the channels sensationalize the leaks as facts.

The glory is in who sends the most accusations out into the media as quickly as possible, rather than journalistic reality or verification of facts prior to reporting.  Amazingly the people who are at the receiving end simply brush it off rather than bring the reporting to justice.  Then again what justice can be delivered in a society that is so polarized in the lines of caste and religion, and much of the time influenced with political affiliations.

At the end of each day it is a national past time to devourer the gossips of news and try to filter the reality, and when you go to bed with a overdose of arrests, scams and investigations, along with some spice added with international activity added for the benefit of nationalists, you must have nightmares of the daily life that people go through in a society that can’t find bright spots in the vast wilderness of news reporting.

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