Monday, July 21, 2008

Stop Senseless Slander

Just read the article on Aarushi written by Masooma Ranalvi in Outlook dated July 28, 2008. Masooma, mother of Aarushi's close friend has voiced with precision and passion the serious pitfalls of scandalising media coverage.

The callous depiction of the Aarushi murder case brings to light how the police and the media have become hand-in-glove accomplices in the road to slander.

Repetitions in the form of the same visuals, leading questions, questions that encourage drama and speculation, sexed-up discussions and debates about murders and crimes on prime time news- we seem to be blood-sucking vampires drooling on the gory and the obscene to a majority of production houses today, isn’t it?

And then there’s this angle about the callousness of police.

What kind of investigation is it that fails to find a dead body from the crime scene and discovers it the next day. (The first short brief I read in The Telegraph was that the girl was found murdered and police suspected the house-help, assumed he had fled after committing the crime)

I fail to see the reason why the police feel compelled to hold press conferences and shed light on what they think would have been the modus operandi, speculate about alleged killers on air? Why they can't mind their own business without light, cameras and action.

Gone are the days when the crime departments did their own work and the reporters did their own news briefs that were small, crisp reports and nothing more.

As of this date, there still isn't a set of laws framed expressly to control the audio-visual media. Could this be the reason why nonsense goes on the Indian television so effortlessly?

Talking about censure, yes I do feel very strongly that a free press that head bangs callously in each and every aspect of personal life need not be applauded and celebrated as the living symbol of 'freedom of speech'. Of late, hasn't the Indian television gotten a bit too free? A section of it needs to be leashed, and leashed firm and proper. And soon.

We need news to keep informed. For thrills and frills, we might as well read cheap detective novels, thank you.

We attended this guest lecture from a person from CNN-IBM. I still remember his sly smile when Jyoti asked him 'Sir, do you seriously think there is a need for 24 hour news channels?'

I guess that question sums it up all.


Dip.. said...

totally agree..

it actually gets on my nerves each time they come up with some crazy breaking news about arushi's murder case. they dramatize the whole thing for the TRP ratings.. which is just so immoral!

yeah actually, do we need 24 hr news channels, maybe only 2/3, the good ones who report matter-of-factly.. not create a drama out of the whole thing.. the way india tv and some others do. i don;t get it why the channels have to scream this thing out "we got the news first" "sabse pehle humne kiya khulasa" and the bullshit.

its just very very annoying

suren said...

i don't know if u get that channel at your place which broadcasted a fabricated mms claiming it to be that poor girl. That was the height of desperation a tv channel could reach to push its TRPs.... More than anything else TRPs rule and its a hidden truth which has become explicit now is that the news channels are not isolated from this fact...
btw completed the tag:)

Indian Home Maker said...

It was so sad, just think of the parents, to lose your only child and then all the hell that followed, punished without proof or without being convicted. It must have been such a nightmare for them.
One channel that remained humane through it all was NDTV.

Gauri Gharpure said...

Dip and Suren-- I didn't follow the Aarushi ruckus so closely as I was out for a better part of the month when the news broke.. but even before the final stages, the way news channels dealt with the proceedings, with the high drama and all, and the character assassination, was all so very irritating..
(PS- Dip --been such a long time... i really hope u wud post a message when u blog-hop again.. :)

Homemaker-- yes, I really felt sad when Mr. talwar was finally released, for what all image tarnishing has been done, will take a lot of time to get undone, if at all... the things are so messed up, we would never get to know the truth... but the situation of the father was the worst in this case...

I discovered your blog just 2-3 days back and liked it very come again

Anonymous said...

Gauri, I agree with you somewhat..
But I don't think it is feasible to rein freedom of press, because these things are so relative afterall...
For instance, here in the UAE, freedom os press is clamped (though they don't really admit it !)and I resent that !
But the manner in which the Aaruhsi case has been handled is really a shame !