Screw News TV

I woke up this morning and, as usual, set about to begin my day with some news. It’s rare that I watch anything but BBC for it seems the rest of the so called news channels give me a headache or make me so upset because of bad journalism. I am a journalist by education, and I wince when I see opinionated news or just bad choices on TV.

It’s kind of like eating Taco Bell: your mind remembers that it upsets your stomach, but memory isn’t too clear on how bad so you end up eating it once a quater or so just to go bring back the pain clearly. So it is with me and crap news. But India, with its dramatic culture and people, and the mass population which is not very well informed and mostly uneducated, gets its kicks from news accompanied by drama music to match the severity of the news. It’s basically cheap theatre, induces fiery uninformed or thought out reactions from the majority of illiterate people, and leaves me wondering why not even one channel has opted to take a high road and follow true journalistic principles. Aren’t there any intelligent people with common sense and dignity that one channel can cater to?

So this is the news from today: Major sex scandal because an Indian Hockey Team player had sex with a prostitute. Fine. That in itself doesn’t make it bad. It’s a weak story that needs serious drama music and a high pitched and loud news reader to make it sound important. It’s more of an entertainment piece than a leading headline morning story. Then, in a less vehement tone, the lady reads the heading of the next news clip: A doctor chopped off the arm of a baby she just delivered in her anger because she realized the mother could not afford to pay the bill for delivery.

There is a basic saying in journalism: “That which bleeds, leads.” An idiot knows why. A freshman student in a communication course knows this rule. Each of the above stories, standing alone, make for just another day in this world. But the fact that two adults having consensual sex, a hockey player and a prostitute at that, seemed to horrify this Indian news channel more than a baby’s arm chopped off, that it carried more importance to a mild moral delimma than physical pain induced upon a helpless new born, makes me flabbergasted.

My mother was setting breakfast on the table, a perfect Indian lady with all the values of this society. I had to ask her, in case I was wrong, if maybe the bloke was expected to take the hooker out for dinner first. Maybe charm her into bed? Hell, in my mind arranged marriages with dowry involved are not too far away from prostitution. Maybe the difference in morality comes from sleeping with one man versus one a day. I don’t care for that debate too much. If I am married off to a guy I don’t like, and he is ugly, and I have to screw him when he wants, it ain’t much to sleep with differnt men I don’t like every day so I can put food on my table. Whatever. But the news shows it as the worst event under the sun, a blemish on the Indian nation forever, on the national game which is now insulted. “Oh these cruel times. Oh this heartless bastard. How could a single young chap, who is obviously physically fit and pumping testosteron and adreneline, think of sex? How, in our land of beautiful culture, can such an unnatural thing occur?” I hope you are following my sarcasm here. It’s pure bullshit.

Now lets move on to the baby who was born healthy in this poor over populated country but within minutes of being born, is permanently disfigured and short one limb. There will be a police report. I will never hear a follow up report on this story again. The doctor will pay off some cop or call an uncle who will call a friend high up somewhere and they will leave the poor mother and the mutilated child on the road with nothing. No consequences. A picture of the child flashes across the screen, solicites the gasp that it was intended for, creates interesting tea time gossip and water cooler chat of “Did you hear this horrible thing..?”, and ends there. Some pervert will ask which channel it was on and watch it.

All this today. What gets me here is the balls on the reader and the channel in the way they prioritized these stories, allocated importance and time. I am not sure why I am writing this. I can’t force shame on these people if they don’t have any already. I hate being so angry and helpless at the same time. Nothing will change here. Nothing ever does when it comes to human rights and justice for the poor. Am I making a big thing out of nothing? Am I the crazy one, you think?

Screw News TV

Sati

Joined June 2010

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Artist's Description

I had to write this one. I avoid local news when I realized the rich and powerful win all the time. Then watching the news is sadistic, like laughing at a blind man crossing a road with lots of traffic. No one ever talks about how bad human rights are in India. I wonder why…

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