Thursday, January 15, 2009

An alternate viewpoint in dealing with media menace:

Oil Sector officers with astounding grief watched helplessly a maligning campaign by popular media houses while our voice was no where to be seen. Thankfully Lok Sabha TV did organize a debate, but then that came too little too late. Personally I watched self proclaimed (award winning) high levels of journalism falling to pieces in quest for TRPs. The rats were in the race to prove among themselves who is better at distorting facts, subversing truth & projecting another citizen of nation as a villain thus self becoming the heroes and champions of public cause.

Not one channel tried to verify the facts. The likes and best of guardians of respective channels, Mr. X and Shriman Y who were supposed to be the best in their class, got wiped out in the deluge of providing mis-information to aam public. As seniors of an industry I wonder what action popular newsmen take to set their houses right, than point fingers at Oil Sector officers who had been waging a negotiating process right fully within constitutional frameworks for last 2 and half years. What a shame to call a group of “people” un-patriotic when compared to these messiahs of information, these unpatriotic “people” sweat their blood 24 hours a day, in roughtest and toughtest of climatic and demographic conditions and yet pay more taxes combined together than any other class of industry. Do not forget multi-million conglomerates who take pride in being Zero-Tax Companies and yet get accolades from TV coverage. (Well you also pay for watching their advertisements)

Having said that I would like to point out a few points:-

Most of the channel presenters do not remember what they just said a few minutes ago, as most of the items they say is either read out to them and even if it is an extempore they keep on repeating same points at least 15 times in an hour. (If you don’t believe then watch their “special” bulletins which are usually 30 min. programs and there sentences carry banality for the whole time). Hence there is no point in reaching to them and telling them what they said was wrong. It will be a waste of our energies in making parrots sing like cuckoo.
Dear people of our country were indeed troubled and either stood in fuel lines or watched the “breaking news”. A few also chose to say #$#%* on the national TV for which a lady presenter had to apologise. However as soon as the evening news flashed of reopening of petrol bunkers, all was forgotten. People were back to business and today I challenge to conduct an opinion poll on how much time people think about the oil sector worries, they will say “doesn’t bother”. So the gist is public memory is short for greatest of scandals, they will not care of who said what a week ago. Who was on strike and how media presented it. Only we the emotional kinds remember it. So no point in again approaching media to issue corrective words. Again we waste our energies in promulgating words that have no socio-economic significant to public life. Why any one in general public bothers to listen to your clarifications.
Character rape & assassination has always been a stronghold of private news and media channels. $akhhi #awant getting kissed gets them more eyeballs than Laurels our sport persons achieve. Noida Murder case of a teenage girl was publicly decided by media and tarnished the image of her parents. As a parent my self I feel disgusted with it. Another Noida Serial murder accused got more publicity than Election of President of India. Our basic nurturing and values inculcated by middle class livings have acted in manner that hurt us most by being accused of treason when we know we have unsung heroes who kept alive the energy security of the country. Well no body also knows how a business house stopped their production units during kargil war as production of excess diesel would harm their business interests. So no point in approaching the rapist and asking them to marry you.
We should understand that there is also a stiff competition among journo who in most cases become one by default after not getting through any of the professional institutes in early days of their lives. Hence for them their survival can only depend on creating sensation that also provides them with adequate air time to advertise them. I watched IBN7on 10th late afternoon when an over-zealous presenter used up all his Hindi vocabulary and didn’t even allow Amit Kumar to answer. While he not only forced his language through the viewers but also tried to buy more time on air so that Amit Kumar can be held on their channel for longer duration that can later be claimed to be an achievement in both the cases of success and defeat. You would have seen their own advertisements where they claim more eyeballs watched them during election and what not. Hence writing to same people about their misdeeds when their survival depends on it is like showing mirror to monkey. He will only break it.
Recently one loss making airlines dramatised sacking of their employees to garner relief package from government and in the ensuing drama, protests by handful of “smartly dressed” people were covered intensely by media. Their sad stories and anonymous accounts were shared with the people of India, about how they cannot pay their personal loans taken for buying flashy mobiles & goggles. The euphoria was created to help the company in gathering public support of their hardships and thus Govt. interference through labor ministry, aviation ministry was achieved. Even “Sansani” News has advertisement breaks that sponsor them to show misery of a common man in streets being murdered for no fault. Hence the news is a purchasable commodity and the same should be bought and not sought.

Media houses can be tried by exposing them on public forums and rightfully through doors of justice under following:
Their undue wolf cry created panic buying among public leading to early starvation of petrol pumps. Thereby reducing negotiation time for both the Govt. and the employees. This also led to situation where stringent measures were enforced. Hence case under NSA can be explored for creating panic in public with unverified facts through over-enthusiastic ugly presenters. It was also seen on a few petrol pumps that there was a riot like condition. Hence these presenters can be booked of instigating rioting.
They spread rumors about oil workmen who are honorable citizens of their country by terming them terrorists and on other side using similar terms for enemies of country who are either planning or planned an attack on the country. Hence they can be charged by using terminologies which are derogatory in nature. They can also be tried for creating an environment of hate against a community (of oil people) and making general people believe that they are the losers when not a single tax payer’s rupee will be affected on the outcome. (Well I forgot how many actually pay tax! In our country) & what do you call tax evaders – militants??

Friends, These guys would never know the difference between a terrorist, militant, insurgent, mercenary, or separatist. It is their job to attract people by their rhetoric. In any case sensibility does exist. We may explore the same by approaching the right people rather than pouncing on channel presenters who would be deleting your mails by a click on their mouse button. Better sense still prevails in some part of electronic and print media; we only need to find them. I do not know yet because of my limited exposure to this class. But then our CC can help to identify the right people at right places. For e.g. even after all this I know prannoy and rajdeep can initiate a debate..

On closing account, please remember economics matter more than sentiments & prestige in the open world out there. I am proud of my oil men and women & you are the Best.

Jai Hind.

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