BREAKING NEWS- The Horrors of Indian Television
A recent burlesque advertisement on the state of various new channels in
The state of Indian Television stinks. Everything given to the masses is a repetition of events, messages, gestures, sounds, emotions and stories. Not that there is nothing new to explore, or something interesting to talk about, but the fact is, that no one is interested in reporting or programming anything which speaks the truth. Somewhere in the glitz and glamour of, 'Post 90's
Even today when you browse through channels and come across ‘Lok Sabha TV or Doordarshan’, a certain amount of honesty can be seen in them. The Lok Sabha TV every Sunday programmes movies from Pan-India, ranging across various languages. And at the same time people of diversity are interviewed and matters critically judged. Such things are unheard on mainstream television.
Breaking News has become synonymous with, 'Indian News Panorama' that the word has lost all it’s value and meaning. Every time you switch on the television and stop at any moment - They have breaking news. It does not matter what's the value of content they are reporting, all that matters is to classify all news as: Breaking. Following a principle like the wholesalers to attract costumers by having huge billboard screaming on top of their lungs regarding the, ' Discount Rates', the value and usage of ' Breaking News' echoes similar properties.
Every thing and anything fits into this category of mainstream coverage. MS Dhoni riding on his motorbike- Breaking News, Deepika Padukone new boyfriend- Breaking News. The quality and level of, 'News Reporting' go ways below this, in manners which needs to be seen to believe. The qualities of, ‘Hindi News Channel’ stink and go below the parameters of qualifying as worthy. India TV leads the pack as the worst news channel on Indian Television. The only saving grace in these deep-shit-black-waters is the few noteworthy news channels such as CNN IBM and NDTV(English coverage)who from time to time have content, coverage, criticism and programme which raises the bar and brings in certain objectivity to what we are pigeonholed and feed. Though even matters of so called national importance and coverage are sidelined for, 'Popular Topics' and real men, problems, issue are all packed into one broad category and made bench-warmers. Such news never reach the mainstream press, even if some of them do, then, it’s packed by our channel as another;’ Great Indian Soap-Opera'. More than finding out the root cause behind the event. They will be focusing on live animation, music, creating hysteria and to a large extent promoting xenophobia.
News Anchors and Reporters today have become celebrity in their own rights, and are more conscious about promoting their own self-image then the news they are covering. Some of them have come from credible background and have worked hard to reach were they are now. But the sweet smell of success has poisoned this very lot of people. Instead of nurturing and establishing a foundation of, 'Objective Press Coverage', they are busier attending socialite Art events and useless round-table debates. It’s not wrong to enjoy what you have, but it’s definitely against the notion of leaving the grounds from where you have come up.
A common argument like every other field in
Our news channels are filled with two important passions of India- Cricket and Bollywood. And everyone in the Media seems to be obsessed by the lives of cricketers and filmstars; though only to the extent of their new love affairs and tattos. The brains behind our News source have even put British and American tabloid to shame. Instead of critically judging them, they shift focus and judgment on wins, losses, flops and hits. The sad fact is that we don’t have enough people with balls to critically and fairly judge and condemn bad films or judge proper performance. Most news channel are filled with cricket pundit whose level of cricket may range from Ranji to International but their value of judgment seems naïve when you see that in the same frontier we have people as eminent as Ravi Shastri or Sunil Gavaskar. When it comes down to Cinema the scale dips even more. Just like cricket(where everyone seems to have an opinion) films is another passion where the mainstream coverage is more about what the actresses and actor wore, then the way they are acting. In
Today, the news presented on television are not reportage any more, instead it’s a mirror to all the Ekta Kapoor soap opera from prime- time- television with all the chutzpah dully packed: Loud music, ludicrous editing, and promotion of morale and values wrapped around polygamy and upper crust refined tales. The sting operation is also a staple diet of most news channel and a favorite arsenal of India TV- almost all their coverage revolve around, 'Sting Operation' which are voyeuristic manic wet dream come true. Since the operation are packaged as a show stellar; to capture the hearts and mind through the magic TRP rating. Another sad fact which may shock most people is that our, ' News Channels' suffer from an acute stature of amnesia. An important issue is forgotten tomorrow, but topics such as Deepika Padukone (much ado about nothing) new love life and Sreesnath tattoos are a rage and can go on and on for weeks.
This may sound strange, that irrespective of explosion of channels, there is hardly any quality content produced here in
When moving to prime time television the soaps are filled with corrupt morale and ideology. Most soap opera resembles each other. And our films too are reflecting the way television serials are made- erratic zooms, over-blown-hyped-music, the characteristic editing, and not melodrama but extreme melodrama. At the same time, they do and act like dictators. Doing whatever in their will to change stories, and keep rehashing them again and again. Hats off to Actors or people who go against such scripts or serials. It’s really funny to see, that in a country which had serials like Buniyaad, Mungeri Lal Ke Haseen Sapne, Shanti, Hasrattein, Karamchand, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Hip-Hip Hurray, Bangei Apni Baat and many other remarkable works has come down to Ekta Kapoor’s tales spin of urban sash –bhau- drama or a story about a village girl in love with a rich guy and later which would again fall in the same category of themes such as:
2) Color of skin, a racist shit in the most extreme vein
3) Polygamy – marriage is not an institution, infidelity is in vogue
4) Crorepati dealing
5) The Vamp
6) The Lovers Cross, double cross, triple and what not cross triangle
7) Well…it gets more scary and bizarre then those things mentioned
8) It sucks.
Even if a serial starts with a certain flow they soon catch on the same veins or the core theme formulated by moderator Ekta Kapoor. It’s almost like prime time television in
The choices for most people who want to watch something good on television are fairly limited. People spend time downloading television shows from US or they spend time watching worthwhile Documentaries, Biographies on Discovery, History or NGC. At least we have a good pool for watching English film and Hindi films. Though the choice of Hindi films is fairly limited to Bollywood, but the choice of English films has become broader, due to the efforts by people at Zee Studio, UTV and Sony PIX. Even Star Movies and HBO once a while show films, documentaries, sitcoms beyond the parametric boundaries.
Two important poles and market exist- Kids and woman. Rest everyone is like branched out in one category. I don’t understand why cant their exist something for this huge pool of people(18-30) who are interested in watching something interesting, worthwhile for their time and money spent. There exists other form of distraction – movies, video games, etc. But watching television forms an internal core of our day to day lives for most people. And this a huge market for interesting and worthwhile sitcoms and shows which could be made and targeted for this core of people who swear by their Lost, Heroes, South Park, Prison Break, The 70s show and stuff. This whole market segment is stagnating here in
It’s strange how angst against the nature and methodology of working in our Television Industry is largely ignored by most people. Even those who regularly watch news or sitcoms do complain about the stink in its programming, but are not ready to voice in opinion unless a backbone is piled up by others- and waiting for the day when a savior comes and screams for a change, so they can voice their support and follow suit.