‘TV coverage heightened public outrage’

17 December 2008

The sociologist, Dipankar Gupta, in Mail Today:

“Though there are many who would find fault with the way the electronic media covered the bloodshed in Bombay, it is also a fact that they heightened citizen anger against politicians of all hues. When the ordinary viewer saw the vulnerability of the unprotected citizen against the Z-level security of politicians, there was good reason for boiling anger.

“None of this could have been captured but for the TV cameras.

“There were many false steps and much hyperventilation. But notwithstanding some crass showmanship, the unintended consequence of the bumbling, over-eager camera crew and their anchors generated a strong sense of citizenship outside religion and rank. This, indeed, is commendable.

“TV channels may not have had this laudable end as their overt intention. They may have been solely driven by rating considerations. But the unintended consequence of camera, uncertain lights and grim action turned out to be good for democracy and for secularism. If only bureaucrats and the security top brass got as much flak as the politicians did, then the job of the media would have been complete.”

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