Friday, September 9, 2011

The Topiwala Camera

The Topiwala Camera
In covering Anna, TV seems to have shed its critical faculties

“CORRUPTION,” I remarked the other day on a television channel, “takes more than one form.” We were talking about-what else?-the latest incremental progression in the Anna Hazare saga. “Everyone talks of money corruption, but what about the other kind=”Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely’? And who has any kind of power now? Only two entities: Anna Hazare and television.”
Rigidity of Team Anna, and its constitutional implications, but no one wants to talk about how the television medium itself is dictating what we think, what we say and when we say it.
In this prevailing atmosphere, you better be for Anna Hazare completely, without any qualifications or reservations, or you will be deemed to be either for corruption or a lackey of the government.
Anna is a television creation.
Is it really old-fashioned to believe that the media should remain, under all circumstances, balanced and objective?
Everyone would want the media to be against corruption, so when a movement like Anna’s starts, you expect the media to be on that movement’s side. But do you expect it to act as the movement’s propagandist?
Television’s lack of objectivity has meant that really important questions are also not being discussed: like the dictatorial tendencies of Team Hazare, the flaws in the Jan Lokpal Bill, the monumental machinery required for the Lokpal agency and the difficulty in keeping it corruption free.
Television’s all-consuming obsession with the campaign has prevented it from looking at already established anti-corruption agencies and why they are not working agencies like the CBI, CVC, ACB, and the Lok Ayuktas set us in some states.
But the channels won’t say it, or many of the other things that need to be said. If they did so, it just might weaken the movement, and that wouldn’t be good for TRPS, would it ?


The opinion of Dharker was published in “Outlook”) of 5 Sept. 2011
The media remained highly biased on the side of so called civil society. Electronic media aired 24x14 only the Ram Lila ground. Just to earn the TRP.
Dissenting views were completely ignored. Some of them were:
(a) Tushar Gandhi-great-great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
(b) Arudhanti Roy –A renowned social activist.
(c) Prakash Singh (IPS) -Retd. DGP –UP Assam & BSF. Who steered the PIL on Police reforms and won favourably in the SC.
(d) Anil Dharker – a Columnist.
(e) No. of prof of JNU and others.
Anyone who wanted to use derogatory language against the Govt had a Manch ¼eap½, Mike, Media and the Messes to air the abusive language.
Should we not formalize certain self imposed taboos on the electronic media so the reporting is unbiased and objective.

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