Indian Media runs on Sound Bytes and News Jockeys

Last updated on May 20, 2010

Posted on May 20, 2010

The problem with Indian media is that it works on sound bytes as opposed to real news stories.  And yesterday’s story on Narendra Modi’s stance on Maoist Naxals proves the point.  While one media source says that Modi wants to talk to the Naxals (TOI and HT), the other one PTI says that Modi wants “strong action”.

Now, presumably, the second statement was made a few hours after the first one.  So, if your news stories are based just on sound bytes from here and there, you would either be giving incomplete news or posing Modi as a confused character.  Neither may be correct.  For, whatever one may have against Modi, he is not confused about what needs to be done in any case.

The fact is that in such situations, one has to work on both the sides of the spectrum.  Use force where needed and talk where and with whom applicable.  There is no hard and fast rule for any situation or time.

News reporting needs to go deeper than one or two statements here and there.  And actually investigate the situation and ask indepth questions and seek genuine answers not shout questions, record sound bytes and then enhance that with sound effects like a movie as is done on TV these days!

The lack of professional journalists in India is just mind-boggling.  At least I haven’t seen any in the last 15 years.  Vinod Dua and Prannoy Roy were promising but one look at Prannoy Roy of today and you know that, if at all, he has gone backwards.  I happened to see his interview of Timothy Geithner, US Treasury Secretary.  He was wearing a rumpled coat and under his greyish suit and unkempt hair, he had maroon socks on, which he was proudly showing by crossing his legs such that one feet was up in the air.  When it came to questions, he kept asking the same question from Geithner just to get a sound byte that he wanted.  Same question got the same answer, until Geithner actually told him that he won’t answer the question.  Such is the lack of intelligence and creativity.  So much happened in Geithner’s office in the last year and Roy had just 5 questions in an hour’s interview with 2 question being asked 3 times each!

What kind of morons come to the media one often wonders!

Can you please share some of the incidents in the Indian media with the popular presenters and news jockeys that you hated?

Reference Links

1. Narendra Modi favours strong action against Naxals
2. Narendra Modi favours talks with Naxals

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