All corners of the media, from print to electronic and online are rife with the flabbergasting news of the end of 5 year old cold war between Bollywood’s very own Baadshah and Dabbang. Media is rejoicing for they have got meaty news to run their upcoming news bulletins on! Tabloids are full of catchy headlines and heavy coverage of the spat and how it all started, what all did both the Khans say about each other, controversies and details of the iftaar party that worked as magic for the re-union. You would say tabloids are meant for gossip of the B-town but leading national dailies and their main papers, prime-time bulletins of news channels seem extremely happy about the patch-up too, looking at the amount of coverage the news is getting!
The fourth pillar of our country has sensationalized the unbelievable news to such an extent that nothing else seems to matter now! Journalists are busy analyzing the probable reasons of this hug-and-make-up stunt on whether this was just an awkward formality or truly have they patched up! They are also following SRK’s tweets and giving their expert comments on if he being sarcastic or is he elated! Right from the time when Salman Khan gate-crashed Sharukh Khan’s movie sets to meet Aishwarya Rai and misbehaved with everyone to their spat at Karina Kaif’s birthday party 5 years back, to various occasions when the two nearly bumped into each other, to all the sarcastic comments they targeted towards each other! My god, media people have all the time of their lives digging buried corpses!
Now that this national emergency is over, can we and the media concentrate on less graver issues such as malnutrition, corruption, violence, terrorism, elections etc ( I had to stop due to word limit or else, the list is endless)? The crucial rough phase of Indian economy with dipping value of rupee, pathetic condition of law and order, devastating Uttrakhand floods, bomb blasts in Bodhgaya and many other national issues, media and even the common man is more gung-ho about the leading Khans and their story, no wonder this is talk of the town! It is only natural to be inclined towards something glitzy and having a gossip factor with it, but the media is here to show the hard realities of a country. When our country is facing gut-wrenching crisis and is in the news for wrong reasons, why is the overtly-sensitive media running behind the SRK-Salman saga?
Printing the news is no crime, after all, everyone needs their dose of entertainment but giving it space in the prime time bulletins and front pages of newspapers is a bit too much! Till when will media only think about TRPs, readerships and website traffic and not pay heed to their core responsibility of information carrier? In the amalgamation of infotainment, we see only bits and pieces of information, and a major chunk of entertainment! This is height of aping the west and their paparazzi culture, but what our media organizations are failing to understand is that the developing country we live in, where something is happening every second, it is the media which acts as bridge between news and the public.
Till the public won’t be served with quality news, that holds country-wide importance, people will remain ignorant and unused human resource. Yellow journalism is the tadka to the masala of sensationalism, where face value is supreme! News channels didn’t think twice before replacing their running tracks the moment this sensational and breath-taking hug took place! Prioritizing is required, categorizing is required. To prioritize the kind of news to be aired or printed, in tune with the state of affairs should be high on agendas of these media moguls. They should strive to realize how kids dying due to poisoned food in Bihar are far more severe than these spats and make-ups! The problem lies in the follow-up system of our media sections. They follow any news only till they see TRPs coming out of it, and the moment people lose interest, the news is blatantly pulled off-air!
How come follow-ups to celebrity gossip are so strong and routinely that it becomes news of national stature? We have had enough of this TRP and readership hungry media! We want change and as Mahatma Gandhi had rightly said, “be the change you want to see”, we need to become that change. The day we will stop paying heed to such baseless gossips churned out of media mills, that very day will be a revolution of sorts in the history of Indian media and we will see change in outlook and perspectives.