Moral Journalism

One of the most common and bizarre issues faced by today’s middle class as well as celebrities in the country has been the moral policing carried out by various organizations and groups inclusive of media… Today’s moral grounds cover from everything and anything that’s been a dogma for the people of India for a very long time. Be it girls going out to pubs during late nights or live in relationships of a couple… Let me iterate a couple of examples where this “cultural, moral brigade” comes suddenly alive when it is dead and battered down in the dungeon within the bedrooms of our Indian households.

Today’s moral brigade has issues with Valentine’s Day celebrations, pub culture, public display of affections, gays and anything that were never a part of India suddenly were inculcated and added to the long list of culturally demoralizing and sensitive issues of this country. Though the country’s media had helped people get closer and get a quick view of any formal or informal situation this country has faced, they have failed at large when it comes to uniting or taking a neutral stand when it comes to politics, sports or Indian cinema and urban culture. The so called moral policing are condemned by the media when some religion motivated crazy fanatic groups trying to target girls who go to pubs and this same media questions a person’s affiliation of whether he is taking a stand on either side of the wall and confuse him with all the unnecessary facts which are actually immaterial (Example: Comments made my Amitabh Bachchan on Narendra Modi).

Today’s journalism fails to give any factual information and stresses more on sensationalism. They have succeeded in things which are unprecedented in nature. One such example is, when a player fails to perform in few innings, they relate his personal and other side of the life for his downfall which is actually unnecessary to discuss when the main issue of form or temperament isn’t discussed. Why this shoddy journalism when they could actually interpret what the exact factual information is?

The other thing that has created quite a phenomenon with the media is the sensationalism of the frontline news… If there is a bomb explosion in a city and when the actual figures are still unavailable, they come out with news headlines of “10 injured and more than 30 killed” and when you turn on the next news channel, you would get another new figure for the number of people killed or injured. And to add to this confusion, the next day’s paper carries a different number altogether which is enough to confuse a common man like me or any one.

Today’s news channels are no more the liberal channels of yesteryears… Today’s news channels are owned, operated or run by media houses which either have a backing of a political party or a religious fanatic group.

Let’s consider two scenarios:

  1. The fact what happened when Rahul Gandhi committed a fatal error in his remarks that it was his family which was capable of creating Bangladesh which was actually condemned by several political parties, bureaucrats and even by Bangladesh.
  2. Similarly Varun Gandhi committed a blunder by mentioning his dim-witted views on Muslims during the Indian general elections in 2009.

Now when it comes to the media, the moment the news of Varun Gandhi spreads, they only remember about his remarks than what exactly he is contemplating or why he is currently in the news where as when Rahul comes in the media limelight, he is speculated and he is celebrated. Accusing Varun was never a mistake or hailing Rahul was never precise but the fact that comes to our notice is the pathetic moral policing and the cheap journalism ethics of the media where they share the piece of information which is actually necessary for their TRP ratings and could create communal tensions.

And then comes some of the most pathetic news channels who fail to give credible information for most part of the year but end up boosting or raising their shirt collars for things which never require such hype and hoopla… They just don’t understand the simple point. They are here to spread the news with their dedicated and truthful journalism and not to fall short of their ethics. Some news channels consider themselves so high in esteem that they slap court notices on bloggers who try to share their awful worry about the journalism and the pathetic state of the news media in public.

More than 30 news channels (still counting on an average of 10 added every year) are telecasted and run in India 24*7. What they fail to realize is that they just don’t have it in them to share what is necessary and what is not. Why is a news channel interested in where Rakhi Sawant goes and sweeps the roads or why moral policing of the journalists stops this country and its people to have access to adult content through secured networks? Why are few channels banned for their content and what is the exact definition of the government when it says no obscenity?

Last week a news channel was packaging news, “Who Ranbir Kapoor is kissing on the sets… Stay tuned for more?” And this is on primetime news. If Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan are seen kissing in a movie they are slapped with court notices and what do you call this news content of this news channel?

I absolutely feel weird when it comes to Indian journalism or Indian press and its news contents. The media assumes roles that are actually never part of their resume and end up heightening into new avenues where they are never supposed or even thought to be. To some this might come as a new success to increase their TRPs but for others like me, they are no more than a group of clowns who are entertaining us even when Sachin hits 200 or sensationalizing the news with new mark of pity when there is a bomb blast…

There is no surprise, if this article ends up conveying a wrong message to what Moral Journalism is all about…