We are not Entertainers, Lessons for Indian News Anchors

June 27

This is no decoding the DA Vinci Code or learning the Pythagoras theorem, this is basic common sense, primary learning, We as journalists are not army men holding guns firing at our enemies, even Army soldiers cannot prevent wars, they can only fight them. But lately some ‘Cuckoo land’ news anchors have turned their news room into pop up war rooms, The first thing one learns in the journalism class is that media must inform, educate and investigate to give its people news as it is happening without bias. The moment bias steps in then it is not news, it is one man’s opinion or views.

Recently, I shared the link of a TV Debate with a German friend who also happens to be a journalist. The first reaction i got was him telling, “Is this a Public Rally, Why so Many people?”. He said he just could not understand why everyone was shouting at each other. He said it was tough to believe that it happened every night in Indian News Rooms.

In a “News Debate” worldwide, (Excluding India), the anchors ask questions and the guest responds, while Indian journalists abuse the centuries long tradition, ‘Atiti Devo Bhava’ (The guest is equivalent to God). They humiliate the Atiti, abuse him, threaten him, shout at him.

Most of the anchors act as if the democracy is packed up in their news rooms and they are the sole guardians of this ‘box’ , this is a very dangerous and real threat. Sentences are blown out of proportion; people who have come to debate are shouted down; the latest trend is people who support the view of the anchor is volume up and opposites are volume down, anchors are rude and don’t let even the invitees speak. In short, very little is achieved and viewers are soon told, ‘Thank us for joining us tonight.’

The best part is every channel claims to have the highest ratings and is the most watched channel. How can this be possible? is this bloody ‘Lala Land’ and we are your princesses? Surely their egos are not so inflated as to believe this obvious lie? How can every channel be the most top rated? How can all of them be most watched? Perhaps most is non existent in their dictionary. They ruin reputations, sensationalise rumours even before confirmed as facts, get anyone to justify their stance and make a mockery of journalism. The Cobra post recently ran an expose on Indian Media which revealed that most of Media is paid by wealthy politicians to promote an agenda, rather than Facts.

This surely is not news. This is the Romans of 2nd Century BC, they got out the slaves in their coliseums for to entertain them, these slaves were paid handsomely and so are the news anchors, ‘Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment.’ That is what happens after a while, You will find these soldiers hilarious and Wanda Sykes, Charlie Chaplin are just names.

The Mockery the prime time in India has reduced the country to, makes me ashamed, among civilized groups, among students, i feel ashamed to call myself a journalist, this is what you have done to journalism, Prime time is – Fish Market time. The alleged debates and discussions makes you look like fools to the outside world, unprofessional and veering on crazy.

Regarding Kashmir, Cobra Post has spoken enough, TV anchor is surely out of touch with reality and their own profession. More tabloid junk is presented as news then the critical issues of the day, which is surely because of the shift of focus from reportage to anchoring, media giants with a multi million turnover have zero reporters in many cases, but a swelling number of anchors.

The Money you get, of course comes for the propagation of a certain agenda, but the freedom comes with a responsibility and it is time they took a step back and stopped being judge, jury and executioner. If you let your prejudices show in your work, you can be anything, but a journalist.

You cannot become news makers yourself, only memes. India is a huge country and there are many newsworthy items that are simply ignored for the lack of reporters as tabloid sensationalism sells or they like to think so. Their shock is increasing as the internet continues to grow as the best news provider.

Author: Qazi Shibli

Qazi Shibli is a News Editor with ‘The Kashmiriyat.’ He is a Journalism graduate from Bangalore University.

News Reporter
Qazi Shibli is a News Editor with 'The Kashmiriyat.' He is a Journalism graduate from Bangalore University.