Should media give the people what they want?

3 December 2013

As the TV channels go through the same motions in an election season—predictable opinion poll by predictable pollsters, followed by predictable panel discussion with predictable panelists and predictable cliches, followed by predictable conclusions—Malvika Singh asks a not-so-predictable question, in The Telegraph, Calcutta.

Is the media’s task to supply what it thinks the public wants, or is to shape what it should want?

“When confronted with this question of supreme superficiality laced with high-voltage ego, media men and women explain away their inadequate rendering of events by suggesting that ‘the people’ want the mirch masala and the sensational, not substantive information, and that they are, in fact, reflecting the level and interests of the public.

“Is that what, say, the school curricula should do too? Should university lecturers dumb themselves down for lazy students? Should novelists and storytellers write junk because there is a market out there for the sub-standard? Should Bharatanatyam dancers do the hip-hop? It sounds so frightfully absurd that it merits no discussion when one is told that ‘the market wants it’.

“Surely, the challenge is to shape the market with facts, ideas and wonderfully crafted entertainment based on great stories?”

Read the full article: The endless babble

Also read: Is Modi media biased against Rahul Gandhi?

‘Indian TV is like nautanki, a real-life soap opera’

‘Regional TV better than English news channels’

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4 Responses to “Should media give the people what they want?”

  1. P Oommen Joseph Says:

    A breath of fresh air !!

  2. Yunus Sait Says:

    That is a very sober & balanced understanding of the functioning of the Indian TV media. The drama is right there with all those empty vessels making such a din, that one is left wondering whether at the end of the day you can still hold on to your sanity. Any intelligent viewer is fully aware of the background & tilt of the panelists. Move over to another news channel & the same muck hits you. To top it all are the anchors who think that the higher decibels their vocal chords can strike the higher will be their TRP’s. What a bunch of jokers.


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