08 January, 2013


Sometime ago, in another context, it had been pointed out that increasingly the media is arrogating to itself the role of the reporter, arbitrator and executioner - all in one.

As I write this, the Headlines Today is interviewing the bereaved father of the unfortunate victim of Delhi gangrape. The interviewer is constantly prodding, urging and provoking him - brazenly and completely contrary to all canons of journalism - to commit himself against the police, the government, the politicians.. someone. And she is craftily putting words in his mouth, almost desperately trying to get a screaming headline from the gentleman.

Already I can see the captions running quoting the hapless man. Terrible.

The media is rapidly becoming scary. They can make mountains of the molehills if they do not have mountainous stories that night. And equally they can brush aside terrible mass tragedies if they have more lucrative coverage up the camera.

Time to look at the Fourth State or Estate? Time to call for media regulation, by the civil society, if not by a statutory body like the Press Commission [a la Election Commission]?

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