In the recent past may be for a span of 3 years, the impact of investigative journalism is intense in India. I remember days when I closely followed the activities of terrorists during November 26, 2008 Mumbai attack. Media turned out to be an eye opener for several ordinary citizens like me. Public can closely follow several issues. This is a stupendous improvement perhaps investigative journalism is taking a tweak in its favor most times.
Is media really doing a good job? Are they doing justice to the profession? Are they ethical?
I would like to quote few issues that I have noticed odd about media.
Microscopic & A Supportive Angle for the Terrorists
During the 2 and half day-Mumbai attack, several reporters were telecasting the closest snaps and several others came up with updates. They kept updating people regarding the death tolls, army’s invasion and other moves. This would have been highly supportive for the ISI that is operating from Pakistan. A free microscope that misses nothing and covers everything from all angles and that is nothing but the captured footages that were played in various channels during the attack. Both the public and terrorists were equally educated and kept abreast.
Politicizing an Issue
Sagarika Ghose is one the chief reporters from CNN IBN. This particular reporter from CNN IBN started reviewing the attack from a political angle. If I am not wrong there was an interview with Ravi Shankar Prasad, a representative of BJP and Jayanthi Natarajan of Congress. She juxtaposed the terrorism statistics from both the party’s reigns and was interviewing these politicians. It is quite surprising to see how people could make use of a tragedy to gain publicity to a channel. Of course it is nice to know that the channel was very swift in collecting reports perhaps what is the use. They do not have a verdict in favor of BJP or Congress. They have just pulled the issue out. The issue keeps burning for two days and it will be renewed again during the next pertinent mishap.
Interrogations in the Name of Interviews thrashing all that are Closely & Remotely Involved
There is another person of this kind, Arnab Goswami. Perhaps he belongs to Times Now. Another upcoming hot news reporter of this kind is Rahul Kanwal. You give them an issue, they will gather all the people who are closely and remotely related. Well after the entire interview is done, nobody can still come to a conclusion where the lapse took place. This is mentioned on general grounds, since this something that happens with every pressing issue that comes up. This pattern of interviewing someone started with Karan Thapar who is now hosting news programs like Devil’s advocate and The Last Word. These programs are owned by CNN IBN. Their only objective is to pose as many questions as possible. The answer does not seem to matter; it is the pride that the interviewee is caught matters there.
Exclusive Publicity Strategies
Any pressing issue gains media’s attention. For example, Mr. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar escaped gun shots in the recent past; it was publicized. Nothing happened to him during the attack and he is still safe. There is no obvious reason to kill a person like him, however the end result is his reach just increased.
Similarly Sania Mirza, Ayesha Siddiqui and Shoab Malik’s issue was given the utmost hype. The media ran it over again and again with exclusive interviews from all the three but at the end of it all, it finished like milk and water. A writer also came up with a point that there was money swindling off-screen and it was amplified through the hype created by media.
One of the latest issues where a young 16 year old tender girl was raped by BSP MLA in Banda, UP was discussed all over and the credit is attributed to the media. Interviews and discussions were telecasted and re-telecasted and still the issues continue to be telecasted. She is a rape victim and she was interviewed and that is how humane media is. Why can’t they stop with exposing the MLA? Why is there a need for the girl to be shown? She has already gone through something hallucinating and she is still going through in the name of interviews. If the media veritably intends not to expose her, why telecast the video that contains the distorted image of the girl? Why make her more embarrassed?
Similarly Nityananda’s scandal was taped and telecasted. If media is ethical enough, why release the tape in the first place? Why was the violent video of the Sub Inspector R. Vetrival’s murder telecasted? Of course it was edited but why telecast?
CNN IBN plays a major role in this regard. CNN is a news channel that belongs to United States. How can India grant permission to lay its set up in India? How can public expect justice from a channel like CNN IBN? Times now is on its attempt to get equally worse. NDTV and Headlines are better on a comparative basis.