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.