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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Are You Listening ... err Watching


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

24 comments:

  1. I so agree with all your points here, Sir. Television was good earlier, now it is flooded with nonsense. Just like BBC, you can rely on NYTimes for good reporting. I remember listening to 8 pm news every day on DD. That was a ritual. And this line is so true - songs are there but there is no melody.

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    1. Thanks for reading and liking Saru! I agree that even NY Times does cover very well and once in a while I do read the e version:)

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  2. I loved this post Rahul.Totally agree with you.Lately i have been watching the serials on Zindagi-they are far far better than ours.They make sense,dialogues are crisp,acting is flawless and they finish when the story ends.

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    1. True Induji, some new channels like Zindgai and Epic channels do broadcast some quality programs! Thanks a lot for liking!

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  3. A clear picture of how the media has changed over the years, the beginning of the post made me nostalgic, one radio was a treasure to possess!

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    1. Thanks Padmaja, some nice memories stay with us!

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  4. Very true Rahul ....Gone are the days of quality television....anything in excess loses the charm .... I somehow feel that even BBC is a little opinionated when it comes to news ....

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    1. Thanks Jaishree! Last when I was in Singapore I saw a lot of serials in BBC and liked their formats but yes the news do get biased now a days!

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  5. Ah yes - I love BBC productions. Reality TV is nothing for me - I hate it!

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    1. Very true! some of these Reality TV stuff is stage managed so no fun to watch!

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  6. Let me tell you something. I hardly ever watch TV. These days I do because I learned how to operate the smart TV and turn on You tube. So on one of those days when I did not know how to turn on our TV, I had 15 minutes of spare time before the kids arrived or god knows what reason. It took me 5 minutes to figure out how to turn on the TV, 5 mins to figure out the channel I wanted to see and the rest of the 5 mins went by in Ads and it was time to switch it off :( Really, sometimes I loved hamara doordarshan very much.

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    1. Wow, Latha your beautiful comment expressed what most of us go through everyday albeit under our own scenarios :) The way advertisements eat up time need another post:)

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  7. I agree Rahul, gone are the days of the good old serials. Nowadays all we see is crap, overmade actressess plotting against each other, serials where the plotlines make no sense whatsoever. I still remember waking up early on Sunday mornings to watch Ramayan.

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    1. Thanks Rachna for agreeing with me as some times I feel perhaps I am the only one who has not developed the taste for this kind of news or entertainment:)

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  8. If we are remembering the names of Rini Khanna, Sunit Tandon, Devki Nandan Pandey and the sitcoms and serials of those days; thats because of the quality they churned out. These days are drama, sleaze and noise and no substance at all. I dont see a hope in revival of Indian media given the muck of people who are in there and who are running it for money

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    1. Welcome back Bindu! Wish the quality of programs improves!!

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  9. Mainstream media has become too negative these days. Good things dont do anything good for the TRPs I think. I remember reading something about what Dr Abdul Kalam had to say about negativity in the media. And you're right, the choices are many, but the quality is very low.

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    1. Exactly Ashwini! The negativity does a lot of damage to the psyche! Hope better sense prevails :)

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  10. Seriously Rahulji.
    Journalistic ethics, etiquette & responsibility is a must. Then, it'll be acche din in the media :)

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    1. Thanks for reading Anita! It is still a long haul to see changes for good!

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  11. Totally with you on the transformation of broadcasting... the programs on any platform are seldom interesting these days. I watch TV mainly to check news, (but I prefer only newspapers for more detail) and specific music and debate shows. I feel nowadays anchors are more annoying than the participants at debates and they fix a justification for themselves and don’t allow others to influence them even they have a valid point.

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    1. Very true , Jeevan ! What cannot be cured must be endured:)

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  12. Those days are long gone, Sir...i don't think anybody cares about the quality anymore - 'masala news' sells these days. Check any ePaper and most of the comments would be on such topics.

    I don't think we will ever see Achche din, nobody cares - Rapes, Gang Rapes, Corruption are more important issues, which are yet to be sorted out...and nobody would address them ever (political reasons, you know)!

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