Sunday, October 24

Through The Looking Glass

Scourging through news items is what we media analysts do for a living. And in the process of looking through scores of links online, a seasoned news hound would definitely smell out news of his/her interest, simultaneously making a fairly accurate measure of the region/nation's media preferences.

Being one such mortal addicted to news and information in all shapes sizes and bytes, I am guilty as charged to the above crime. My ingression doesn't end with this though, for a daily exposure to publishing giants from the three worlds we are divided into, forces my yet un-dumbed-down mind to draw parallels,and worry over the consequences.

A cursory look at the media in the U.S. and India, would lead one to conclude that either could switch nationalities and the world still be the beautiful chaotic mess it is today. But look not too far under the gloss glam and front page gimmickry,and one would find the difference. The difference of assuredness at being a superpower, and the contrasting ignorance bordering on arrogance that our Indian media specializes in.

Why, i always wondered, that a nation like Ghana, be bothered with body scanners in New Jersey, or why Nepal's national daily splash Obama's Af-Pak policy on its front pages, with a thorough analysis inside. Of what interest would tumult in Latin American states be, for PlusNews of an already ailing Pakistan? And, more importantly, why Indian dailies have increasingly relegated international coverage to a single page flooded by classifieds adds, unless of course its our troublesome neighbours or their dragon friend? Africa, Middle East, Latin America, East Asia, the ASEAN,SAARC, regions that have traditionally been and will always be of India's strategic interest, scarcely find a mention in our public discourse. Compare this to how Britain and Washington hog the limelight, and it is clear something is wrong with our media's worldview.

Day in and day out, we are fed a concocted mixture of planted news, views and "analysis" with the preordained conclusion of us having "arrived" globally. In this maddening avalanche of self-glorification, we have lost a sense of purpose, a sense of direction as a society. In a never ending drumming of jingoistic cacophony, the media seems to have forgotten that a superpower can only stand tall on the support of an informed citizenry. In this blinding haze of proclaiming our importance, we seem to have falsified the truth that to grow in stature, we need a constant dialogue with the rest of the world.

We need a media that can bring the world to our door steps daily, that can break up world issues shedding light on how these would affect us, for we can not dream of a greater role in the legion of nations, unless we know how their world revolves.

News has always meant to be a looking glass for us to peep into the world. What we chose to look at reflects upon our standing as a people. It defines our intent, and our worldview. If being on the top is what we intend to do, shrinking our worldview is definitely not gonna help our intent!


  1. AB... I completely agree with you. A very nice post.

    In some of my earlier posts, I had harped on the responsibility of Mass Media, the power it wields and effect it can actually make.

    Good to see someone writing on this; portraying a fresh perspective.

    Keep blogging!

  2. I got to read Outlook Magazine's recent 15th anniversary special. The main theme of the edition revolved around the topic - "Media In Crisis"... Outlook did a brilliant interview with Noam Chomsky and here is what he said, “From what I saw, the Indian media is very narrow, restricted and provincial. It leaves out a lot of things.”

    And good article AB.. Loved the way you have put across the paradox of Media Analysis... keep blogging... :)

  3. @RockSta, @Gunavardhan : thanks a lot! and yeah media today is a huge mess, good and the bad surfaces with alarming irregularity :) thanks a lot for the encouragement!


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