Wednesday, February 02, 2005

tech and the media - 2.

(a reply to vitalstatistix )

you know, im not against the media presenting opinions – but professionalism (if not some kind of integrity) would require that a diversity of views sensitive to different issues be presented. Simply thrusting one collection of views on the public would be pushing propaganda. Just look at the perspective that p sainath brings to different issues. – that’s professional investigative journalism. So much of the stuff presented in mainstream media is simply shoddy reporting because its not analytical or investigative.

yes, youre right : of course its all about the money. media pretty much prostitutes itself for the revenue – especially by means of accepting advertisement. If you can, check out p sainath’s essay called “shrinking spaces, new places”. He does a brilliant analysis : the estimated cost of producing large dailes is around 6 rupees. revenue from advertising covers 5.57 rs. Therefore, the worth given to actual reporting, editorials, news gathering ability etc. is the princely sum of 43 paise. (Now what quality of reporting are we going to see with that? ouch.) this happens to be for newpapers. apply it across the different media : the principle is unfortunately the same.

So the rich guys are the ones with the advertisements. The ones who also print what theyre told to. and so they in turn dictate what we as the public get to hear about. i wouldn’t entirely blame the public for lapping that up obediently. how will you ask for a certain kind of information if you didn’t even know the subject existed in the first place? would you think of asking for soup if youre not told that there is soup in the first place?

now all that’s despite the source trying to provide actual news of sorts. look at bush's previous elections. he actually bought a news channel to announce fiction as fact - doing things like getting announced as the new president of usa when youre actually not, takes a hell of a lot of money and clout!! predictably, I ra-ther like michael moores farenheit 9/11, so im giving you this link to check out if youre interested.

because of one channel giving that information, all the others also got muddled, several revised their earlier bulletins and the whole country was misinformed. So within a media group, where one entity may own upto 10 newspapers, a couple of magazines and a few channels, you bet you can distort information. This link is slightly outdated, but it gives a good idea of how things are organised.



Blogger Vitalstatistix said...

whoa ! a post for replying to my comments. Am deeply flattered. Had no clue that Dubya was upto such antics in Florida. Interesting news that is. I would however want to disagree on the analysis done by P Sainath. Going by his statistics advertisements account for Rs.5.57 (close to 93 %) of the revenues generated. But what percentage of the money invested in making the newspaper, is spent on advertisements. I'm sure a newspaper would have to spend lesser on deciding which ads to publish than on all the stories that it covers. So the percentage of investment on ads may be around 5% and the returns it yields is around 93%. Now you can't blame ads for being the golden goose. It would definiltely be a matter of concern if lesser money were to be invested on getting all that news.
But one the whole issue of newspapers and the media not having morals and setting lower standards in reporting, I totally agree with you. Sun TV and Jaya TV are standing examples of personal agendas being followed. Times of India reeks of sleaze and cheap stuff.

7:54 am  
Blogger AM said...

Another one linking to my blog. Soon my plans of mind control will be complete. (Demonic laughter follows)

9:28 am  

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