Before I begin the article, I have to explain my reasons of absence, even though I’ve never had a correct or accurate view of the blog’s readership but to whoever reads the blog and supports it, I am answerable. I have not been posting since the 1st of January and unfortunately, there’s no reason at all besides laziness. Though, I’ve tried my best to spark on issues using the Facebook page, I haven’t got down to write something worthwhile and I realised it was a really stupid thing to do. This blog is something where I can burn my heat on or speak freely without anything stopping me and therefore, I will have to make it a premise to blog now and then. Now that I’ve said that, let’s begin the post.
In the aftermath of President Obama and his wife, the first lady, Michelle Obama’s visit to India for the Republic day ceremonies a certain controversy arose in the news. Headlines along the lines of ‘Obama says Gandhi would be ashamed to see the present India’ (not these exact words but the gist remains the same) were everywhere and people were angry and so on so forth. But to those who had actually listened or read his addressing of the National Prayer Breakfast knew that it was not offensive but it had a very powerful message for the world. A message people failed to realise and understand, something that I, as an individual feel very sad about. In his address he gave analogies and spoke to the people about intolerance based on religious and racial factors. In that very address, he did say that to see the intolerance in India, Mahatma Gandhi, a man who profoundly believed in equality would be put to shame. He also mentioned the sad terrorist attacks in Sydney and Peshawar clearly identifying the wrongdoers as misinterpreters of the messages and teachings of Islam and using their false beliefs as a shield to justify their actions. But those parts were cleverly skipped and that is what news does. They skip and cut and crop and copy to make everything a controversy, an issue while the real message gets lost in transition.
A sad event of similar intolerance or at least racial fear as I like to call it happened in Alabama a day ago where Mr. Sureshbhai Patel, a 57-year old Indian man from Gujarat was visiting his son, Chirag. While he was taking a walk along the sidelines of the road, policemen put him on the ground and the clash resulted in him sustaining severe injury to the point that he is paralysed. This is a very sad event of intolerance but that is not what I am here to talk about. (Source : Indian Express)
I am here to talk about how News is twisted to get more likes, generate more traffic and more TRP and I have a very clear example proving my point. This example is from the Facebook page of Times Now, a popular news service. Times Now, or at least whoever manages their Facebook pages have asked a question,
“Is this tolerance Mr. Obama?”
I have a question for Times Now,
“Is this how you present news, Times Now?”
You twisted a speech where a man clearly highlighted the problem with the world. A problem, a disease, widespread intolerance. He didn’t keep his country out of it, nor did he ever declare so, but somehow you are asking him the question. The police officers involved in the Sureshbhai Patel incident have been suspended as per reports. Action has been taken and apologies have been made. The way you’ve carefully crafted your caption guarantees you more likes on social media because that’s exactly how news is presented, right? You carefully put something, an idea, into people’s heads and then you feed them more. This is a clear example of what news has become. It is yet another place to earn profits. Nobody cares about getting the events to everyone’s ears now. It’s all a race, for TRP, for likes, for ranks and for money. I’ll conclude this with a fitting set of words someone told me a long time ago,
Earlier money was the investment and news was the product but now, news is the investment and money is the product.