“When Madhuri Dixit danced to the song “TV pe breaking news hai re mera ghagra,” I wanted to hide. Her sizzling dance number in a red-light area from the latest hit Yeh Jawaani hai Deewani roughly means, “My skirt is the breaking news on television.”
“…Many Hindi films now have a stock television crew and reporter sequence. The reporter is often corrupt or a bimbo. They are shown as bodies with mikes and cameras but without brains. It is the sort of thing that should worry all editors, publishers and news broadcasters.
“Popular cinema is one of the more accurate mirrors of society and its characters. It is also the most powerful creator of images – true or false – and of stereotypes. And once a stereotype is created in popular cinema, it is hard – if not impossible – to dislodge.
“The joke is on the news media, not just TV channels. It has allowed the troubles of the news business to overtake it so completely that now the idiot in the office or the black sheep of the profession has become the standard by which the rest of the world measures us. The media’s obsession with “breaking news” at the cost of truth, efficiency or ethics is now the stuff that item numbers are made of.”
Read the full column: The breaking news syndrome
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