"To discuss more on the story we are joined in by our panel of experts, Mr X from the Institute of ABCD..." Does this line remind of something ,rather someone?
Well,TV journos and news reporters are a weird species!And unlike the Bengal Tiger,their numbers just keep growing by the day. Prime time 24*7 news has as much sensation, drama and masala attached to it as a 3-hr long Bollywood film. No wonder they refer to news as a 'stories'.Now, i m not someone who believes in rubbishing journos.They are such an integral part of our lives. I mean if it werent for them
. How would you keep count of the number of kids a certain Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie adopted from (god knows) how many continents.
. You wouldnt get breaking news about what what a certain politician ate for breakfast and whether the salt in it was less or more.
. How the god-damn world is coming to an end in 2008. (Yes..according to a renowned Hindi Channel the year 2008 is "Kaal ka saal")
The first ten days of the new yr , 'molestation' and 'Rascism ' were the keywords splashed across all the news channels. Yes, molestation is atrocious and unforgivable but a soul who would have seen these channels for the first time in his life would have probably concluded so:
"Women,get the hell out of Mumbai before its your turn"
"All male mumbaikars are women harassers."
Or even worse. "Delhi is better". (Ultimate insult, i should say!)
.Coming to the Rascism part he would hv thought:
" All Australians are wretched Rascists."
" 'Monkey' is a rascist taunt,as Mr Symonds pointed it out to the world. (Monkey! Oztraalian for Rascism ) and yeah , B*****D is no longer an abuse as v thought it was.
The other things which were..er..News-worthy
. A hindi news channel:
"Yuvi averages only 4.33 in his 6 innings ,Down under(which includes a match against a chindhi 3rd grade Australian club). Reason: Deepika is in Sydeny for a shoot. Phew! And we thought Yuvi was the guy at fault. To add some extra spice, Deeps-Yuvi pics are shown, his dismissals are shown for the umpteenth time with the popular OSO number " Aankhon mein teri.." playing in the background. The show goes on for more than an hour and there is an expert panel for discussion. Total timepass!
.Another channel screamed:
The 'Yeti' or the 'Maha-maanav' is no myth! Its has been recently spotted in the news(before the reporters allegedly scared it off. They forgot to add it!). Another TRP-raising show.
.Monsoon time in Mumbai(Field time for reporters.) The news-reader talks of the strong downpour, gives you the complete story and you are satisfied. But she isn't. So she follows it up with a
" For more on this, let's go to our correspondent Mr X on Y Road.".
Its waist-high water, not a single soul to be seen except for the reporter,umbrella in hand. The reporter shoves the mike inside a car stuck in the traffic jam and asks the guy behind the wheel.
" Ab aapko kaisa lag raha hain?" (This is their favourite!!!)
The poor chap has to contend with both the rain and the incessant barrage of queries before he is let-off.
I have always wondered about their love for seeminlgy 'inaccessible' places. Maybe Edmund Hillary wasnt the first guy to reach Everest.Maybe Osama wasn't the only guy hiding in the hills of Afghanistan. Maybe there was a news-person already up there, just waiting to ask them " Ab aapko kaisa lag rahaa hain?".
.And the ones which take the cake. Reality shows!!(Actually the major culprits here happen to be the 'soap' channels, for a change). The news channels just replay the 'reality(reel-ity)' dance and music shows from the 'soap' channels. And when you arrive at the news channel hoping for a dose of daily news when these shows are on , u obviosuly feel that you have clicked on the wrong channel. Then reality dawns and you have to remind yourself that its a TRP war exercise at its best.
The real performance in these shows comes from the judges' side. One cant help but feel that maybe the channel gives them the license to
.behave as indisciplined and school-boyish/girlish as they can,
.tear each other's hair off,scratch each other,call names,
walk-out of the shows and promote all sort of cheap ,unruly and uncivilized behaviour.
And these are not normal people. They are the creme-da-la-creme of the entertainment industry.
Meanwhile,Our reporter gets into action and catches hold of the victor(who's now a celebrity) from the talent show and the inevitable follows
" Ab Aapko kaisa lag rahaa hain?" (sporting a fake, "I-m-so-happy for-u" smile)
The victor has to handle a few more and he/she learns the first lesson for a wannabe celebrity.Do not mess around with the press! We make u. We can break u. He/She is then linked to numerous women/men in the industry and the hulabaloo lasts till a formal statement is made which goes something like.
"We are just good friends." The channel is the undoubted winner.
.The top-notch journos in the business love putting the big ' news-makers' in a spot; be it the 'frank,hard-talk, one-to-one interviews', big (often ugly)fights, debates.And the best part is that these guys are never short of issues of national and social importance to debate over!
.Does our media really have a free hand?
Shouldnt they be given more power in a democracy? (Excuse me?)
.Why did Adam eat the apple? Was there something really happening between him and Eve or were they "Just friends"?
.Why did the chicken cross the road? Is it not an offence under "XYZ" animal act to let it do so?
.What came first: The hen or the chicken or the omlette?
.Was the tortoise the worthy winner of the Hare-tortoise race? Did he resort to unfair means? Did he call the hare names? did he sledge him?
.Is it right to use the word monkey? Is it just another abuse? Is it a racist taunt? Is it the name of an animal?
. Is Carla really Sarkozy's girlfriend ? If not, then who's child is she preganant with? Should she be accorded first-lady status according to existing protocol.
And we thought all was well with the world!