Thursday, March 6, 2008


With the sky opening up to satellite and cable television, we in India have invited the world to our living rooms. And the Indian mass media rise to the occasion with their own news and entertainment channels.
The fourth estate comprises of a press and media and has emerged as a powerful force over the years. In a world dominated by politics, scientific and technological achievements, artistic and athletic triumphs the media over rules all these as it makes them significant to the masses. The media highlights these achievements and thus establishes a permanent place for itself in the world where even life is also not permanent.
In the recent past the Indian media have emerged as a force to reckon with. Front runners in this line are the Pranoy Roy led ‘New Delhi Television’ who launched two news channels over the summer viz. and now recently launched channels are ‘NDTV profit’ and ‘NDTV goodtimes’ in association with the Kingfisher group. At present there are approximately more than 10 news channels dominating the scene. Added to this number are the regional news channels that make mass communication an important industry.
Indian news channels have been taken to task for their lack of originality and emerging of foreign news channels. The Indian media follows the standard procedure of gathering information and presenting it to the masses.
In the scenario, the media requires to provide stock market updates and current headlines that run across the bottom of the screen. This aspect cannot be criticized as the news channels are catering to the needs of their viewer’s busy and demanding schedule, which permits them to merely glance at the newspapers.
Stock markets updates enhance the ability of a person dealing in the share market to buy and sell stocks effectively so as to ensure a sizeable profit for him or herself.
Programmes that are relevant to the masses such as ‘the big fight’ and ‘we the people’ are broadcasted on news channels, which bring public opinion to force and nail the concerned authorities into taking corrective action. The media’s essential functions involve addressing the problems of the general public and bringing to light social issues that can draw the attention of the government towards public welfare besides its existing policies and programmes. The Indian media has done these services effectively and deserve recognition and appreciation.
Investigative reporting has also become popular. A number of scams and scandals have been discovered by investigations that have brought to light the corruption in the bureaucracy.
Indian politics and social life are an entirely different ball game and no comparisons can be drawn between the western media and the Indian media.
However there are certain areas where the Indian news channels have not tried to be innovative, instead to the ideas of foreign news channels. For instance many news channels like NDTV24/7 runs the headlines before every commercial break in a manner similar to the BBC.
There is no lack of brilliance amongst Indians and the viewer feels that the Indian media should give itself more credit and move forward with new ideas.
Foreign news channels run a staged show where everything from political rallies, press conference and demonstrations are scripted. Indian news channels on the other hand prove enterprising covering politics with great enthusiasm and energy. Even highlighting Mayawathi’s birthday bash Abhishek- Aishwarya Rai’s marriage, Dhoni-Deepika relationship etc.
On Indian territory, Indian news channels never encounter a shortage of news items. Politicians are examined closely and thoroughly, mercilessly and sports stars pressurized constantly.
Indian news channels in their initiative stages have proved promising even if reflecting the glories of foreign news channels. News channels should do their homework and fearlessly undertake new ventures and innovations. The Indian media can even put old racehorses like the CNN, BBC and FOX to shame if it exploits its true potential. Surely the Indian media can and will live up to the promise and challenge of the task.

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