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Fake news on TV? No more.. [Media Monday]

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If you’re few of those sensible guys/girls watching TV who don’t believe in any sensationalist claim/news on TV before doing a thorough research, then there is a good news. As quoted in today’s Hindustan Times-

The Indian news TV broadcasters, under the News Broadcasters’ Association (NBA), are defining a code of ethics and broadcasting standards for news; establishing a self-regulatory body, the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA); and inviting viewer complaints to the NBSA for offensive, incorrect or inappropriate news.

As discussed by HT the issue is actually with two major categories- News and Home Shopping. On one hand biased and sensationalistic news attract naive Television viewers (mostly from sub-urban and villages) and thrive on advertisers money and on the other Home shopping directly plays with consumers’ money by trying to sell products on false claims.

Lets take the example of few of such products which are shown throughout the day in different channels, as HT quotes-

Nazar Suraksha Kawach is blessed with so much extraordinary energy and power that it can guard and protects your family against the strongest super-natural forces, negative powers and evil looks.

Height Increaser: your growth potential reduces especially after puberty because your pituitary gland becomes inactive. With Height Increaser you can reactivate your pituitary gland. Besides using Height Increaser to stimulate your pituitary gland, it is also important for you to rejuvenate and revitalise your growth plate to increase your metabolism rate at the same time.

After reading this interview of Sundeep Malhotra, CEO, Homeshop 18 it becomes apparent that even he knows that the quality of products is doubtful-

Though the quality and claims of the products are dubious, the success of the model is born out by its continuing presence on expensive TV airtime.

I was amazed when one day I found out my mom ordering some Jewellery which was supposed to have divine qualities. Thanks god she didn’t like the design when it finally arrived and then refused to accept :)!

But this is a good move by Ministry to prevent TV channels from gaining by dubious means. But do you think this move will be good enough to stop over 100 odd channels running either tele shopping or news broadcasting? Moreover, what would be the sanctions imposed in case the channel/product is found to be inappropriate? What’s the use of issuing a notice which no one cares for? What’s your thought on this?

  1. swathireddy says

    Fakenews are one of the best news.At least we will laugh for a moment.

  2. Altaf Rahman says

    @ Rabigupta,
    Not only how they broadcast / telecast but how they gather the news is also disgusting. The journalists remind me of street dogs going wild over left overs thrown behind the wall at some function. May be my remarks look rude to those who think journalists are going that extra mile to gather information so that we can have them. Well, I call them yellow journalism.
    Just observe the news telecast when they are covering the arrest of some famous figures or some court cases or some public gatherings. They show more interest in sensationalizing issues rather than the event.
    I feel disgusted how they fall all over the place to get a better angle of camara and how the nerrator try to influence his opinion on views by his animated face.
    I see a vast difference in Western and Indian media coverage. Western media still respects “the private space” of any one be it a common man or a convict or a criminal. They give space between them and the main event.
    I doubt how many ground crew are trained in news coverage and its ethics. I am sure very minute portion of them are from Journalistc collages offering degrees or diplomas.

    The fault is not entirely of the person covering the news at ground zero level. It is the fault of the numerous channels born overnight thanks to IT revolution. Every channel want to increase their viewership by adding mirch, masala to maximize viewers. In the process they select the person who can dramatize most any given event. They dont care what is the background of the person.

    Same is true about the talk shows. What ever the matter, any event can be moulded into a talk show by bringing in personalities specialized in confrontational approach without knowing the subject.

    Some one can say, well the media is trying to bring the best out of situation. Its such a hallow statement just like film personalities claiming serving the nation in the field of art (even declining the financial interest and caim they are purely serving the nation in the field of arts). Their interest is purely max viewership out of anything. They not only “find an event” but are capable of “manufacture an event out of any silly thing” That is yellow journalism.

    I heard rumors of even some ground level media staff blackmailing some public figures into ransom payments to be made and if not they will be charecter assasinated.

    I wish there is some guidelines in this direction also.

    Just my two paisa :)

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