Tag Archives: Dipankar Gupta

‘TV coverage heightened public outrage’

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.”


‘At least tabloids connect with our little lives’

Dipankar Gupta, professor in sociology at Jawaharlal Nehru University, in Mail Today:

“I would rather go for low-brow tabloids any day. At least they address matters that concern us and connect with our little lives….

“The popular press and the media, in general, are blamed for wallowing in sensationalism and pandering to gross readership and viewership standards. That may well be true, but news around Aarushi’s murder, the brutal massacre of the old couple next door, the fashion fantasies, the tales of bribery and corruption, are the kinds of things that really matter to us. At least, they are closer to our lives….

“True, tabloids are generally not very professional, but how clued in are the rest to purvey and relish the other kind of news? Given this lack of dogged professionalism at all levels, we might as well openly acknowledge the virtues of tabloid journalism. At least they come up with the real news!”

Cross-posted on churumuri