Many years back when the TV was still in the B&W era, the only source of news was the Doordarshan! Likewise, on the radio, it was only All India Radio with Vividh Bharti being the only radio channel that played music from the Hindi movies! Even the movies that played on Doordarshan were split into two for viewing pleasure of each half on a Saturday and Sunday!
Tuning in the radio at 6 AM in the morning and 9 PM at night was a ritual like having breakfast to catch up with the news! Whether it was Melville De Mellow for English or Devki Nanadan Pandey for the Hindi news, the ears would eagerly lap up every word to stay abreast with happenings around us! With the floodgates of liberalization thrown open, the private channels started mushrooming! Over the years the euphoria has died down and despite having a choice of over 200 TV channels of local origin and more than a dozen radio channels on FM alone, one still cannot remain hooked to either media for more than half an hour at a stretch except on a rare occasion! There are too many choices but the quality of program has hit an all -time low! The songs are there but there is no melody! The news is more of an opinion of the channel and on TV it is more theatrics than anything else! The same faces appear on the different channels uttering the same sentences which seldom have a connection with the reality! They are generally the party taglines if it is a political debate, or at best the shouting contests and the poor anchor adding to the hysteria with his own channel’s political affinity. The soap operas on the entertainment channels are a congregation of devils and vamps trying to outdo each other with sly looks, double meaning dialogues and use of vocabulary which one would never have come across in real world! The more the serial has been seasoned with such ingredients, the higher the TRP and the bigger names that sponsor it! It is actually difficult to differentiate a news channel from the entertainment channels as there is a very thin line that divides the two!
A state owned public enterprise like BBC can churn out high quality news, talk shows, travel and food shows, slick TV serials like ‘Sherlock’ that one is amazed with the dexterity of production, and the dedication that seldom leaves the viewers disappointed. In good old times when the Indian TV and Radio channels played censored news one would automatically look for the actual facts by tuning into BBC. Now of course the choices are many!
Credibility of an individual and the institutions has been the foundation of the trust and loyalty since time immemorial. In recent times the yardstick has changed and undergone a systemic change. What would have been considered a sacrilege, a few years ago is now brushed aside as ‘street smartness’ in present times. The lowered standards have a lasting impact as so much of negativity is portrayed that very seldom people find things on the media that would be raising the morale! Like many other things one wishes for ‘Ache Din’ in media too!
PS: Image Kind courtesy Google