November 27, 2008

Mumbai and the media

Terror strikes Mumbai for the umpteenth time and like always, millions of eyeballs get glued to the idiot box. Yet another tragedy falls in the hands of the media, which exploits every opportunity to capitalize on it. So while the oh-so-brave Barkha asks concerned relatives a twisted 'how do you feel about this', the foolish news anchors continuously flash disturbing images followed by utterly atrocious commentary.

Ethics are thrown in a dustbin. Emotions are played with. Sensationalism sets a new benchmark.

Journalists make sure that viewers don't recover from the state of shock and panic. They showcase their intelligence by flashing live images of rescue squads, which can well be seen by the terrorists too. They sneak in dark corners, talk in hush voices to show you 'exclusive' images of a window behind which a terrorist 'may' be hiding. They pick up random celebrities (Mahesh Bhatt is always their favourite) and ask for their opinions.

Bang comes Barkha with another annoying question, "Is this our 9/11?"

They are loaded with questions, but don't know whom to go for answers. The more they know, they less they understand.

And where are the saviours of Mumbai? Mr. Raj Thackeray? Guess he'll take some action only if he's told that the terrorists are bhaiyas.


dharmabum said...

i gave up TV a while ago, and even now when i get a chance, i make it a point to boycott those news channels. at times i feel they are a necessary evil, like the past few days - when i have been trying to find weather forecasts - this city has been literally submerged in rain water!!

all we can do now is pray - all this is beyond anybody's imagination. scary.

Anonymous said...

I agree with dharmabum
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
That's all we can do

Thanks for the comment by the way!

Much love,

bhumika said...


Good that you have shunned the tv. It serves no good. If anything, it only makes living miserable, especially during times like these.

Hope you are fine.


thanks for your comment dhruv. May peace return to the city.

tk cr

Anonymous said...

Bhumikaa, I don't see anything wrong about Barkha asking questions to those who lost their dear ones. When else do we ponder over these things? It's only when one suffers.How can we and you know about things while sitting in the comforts of our home, if someone daring like Barkha Dutt doesn't go out to catch action and risk her life.

Piggy Little said...

i am not really sure that i would say that this was a time when media was exploiting the opportunity, altho i certainly do not agree with a couple of things that were aired: the live action of the commandos, that was really stupid.

but besides that, i think the media this time around did a pretty decent job, except also perhaps noting that there was simply too much of coverage of the hot spots and not the ancillary issues. they could have made it a broader coverage, you know raising issues of security concern, our preparedness rather than bombarding us only with a day and night vigil from Taj, Trident and Nariman House.

Plus i agree with Guardian about Barkha's questions esp. the 9/11 one. there is a word in hindi, aakrosh, and another, jazba which perhaps do not have any english equivalents to the best of my knowledge.

but i know it is only when one is so close to tragedy, when one sees things with ones own eyes, feels it, is a part of it, that that aakrosh and jazba come together and we can make a difference. the anger this time is not dying down because it is something which has affected a city, generations of people together. generations old monuments and places. there is not a single person who would have not stood at gateway and admired the taj. no one who would not have stood outside leopold or caught a drink there--it has affected also of us more than we can ever think. and since it was so wide spread, someone or the other has lost someone or the other in their network.

and trust me, barkha is brave. so are all the other journalists who were present at the scene. and innumerable others who fought and many others who fought and died. it takes bravery and bravery alone to risk your life for the call of duty. forget that after u r not there, they would cry their hearts out. the hotelier staff did it and it would break you down perhaps, some of the testimonies, their courage and valiance.

even the meida has taken a hit, thier men being attacked and it is not because they were wrongly stationed, no. they were unarmed. but they were attacked. and yet they stayed put. it has to be difficult to be so brave.

as regards random celebrities, i think it is individuals who have a status in society who can make a difference, intellectuals as they are, hopefully. we cant really blame the media persons for picking them up-- because u have to agree, star power is a great means of attraction. and whether it is dumb to use them or not, at least we can create some awareness, we are doing something.

in situations like this, it is the ends which matter, not the means.

Aina said...

i completely agree with you. i wonder how Barkha would react if someone stuck a mike up her nose and asked her how she was feeling right after she'd lost a loved one.
sady enough, we seem to live in a world that feeds off misery.

thanks for the comment, bhumika! i was so excited. :) and merry christmas in advance!
ps-you live in bombay?

megha puNAter" said...

so agree with you,its amazing how stupid these people can be.
any ways have a great new year.
seasons greetings

Anil P said...

In all the screeching in the media it tends to overwhelm the gravity of the situation.

Vineeta said...

Bhumika, you've said it. This is exactly how I felt when i saw the insensitive foolish portrayal of what was happening. Barkha Dutt totally took the cake. Anyway things have settled down now & all of look forward to spanking New Year. I wish you an awesome 2009 filled with a lot of things you've always wanted :)