Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Is It Right to Boycott the News Media?

Because of their anger and loathing for the news media, several of my friends – writers themselves – have turned against the media. This is manifested by their boycott of newspapers, news televisions (sometimes, televisions altogether), and sundry other media. I am disturbed by this. True, news can’t be believed any more, it could be paid news. There is pollution of media by big interests who don’t stop at anything. Which must be what Obama meant when he said, “I like it that you cover news from all angles, because one of them might turn out to be accurate.” Cynically said, with a pinch of Obama’s brand of humour.

These people who have knowledge and awareness who should have interpreted the news for us mortals have given up trying to catch what is going on. Instead it’s the liars, plagiarists, cheats, thieves and forgers that we are getting to hear these days. I can go on but I don’t see the reason why I should. And, the feeling is not quite nice. Okay I can understand your sentiments, I sympathise with your sense of outrage. But how will you writers write when you don’t understand the world around you? Even a technical writer needs to know the product about which he is writing, else, how would he write?

How then will you know what is going on in this world? I am not a big fan of today’s news media, but I do read the papers (three) and watch several news channels. (For news on the USA I go to Russia Today which has the best news on the USA and none about Russia itself. Is it some remnant of cold-war propaganda? I don’t know.) The BBC is the BBC is the Beeb. Perhaps, they should show more programming than their in-house ads, which I have by heart, committed to memory. I feel most of their programmes are cut and edited to suit the time slot. So the words “We live the news” and “wall of sound” will be forever embedded in my mind, thank you BBC.

The world is moving into a kind of anarchic state. All our best leaders are gone, and thinking about it, they wouldn’t have been leaders if they were alive today. The leaders of today are people who go to any extent to project their personalities. It doesn’t help if all our thought leaders become silent and don’t have a medium to express themselves. The media is playing a sinister role by excluding these thought leaders. So what’s the solution? How can we make you read more, discuss more, debate more without resorting to violent protests, which the world is going through? How can we bring you back to reading?

The television screen is full of violent protesters these days. I can see occupiers, sloganeers, card holders, and stone throwers in the thousands. That’s due to the extreme deprivation these people face. The Middle East is a powder keg, just shutting our eyes won’t help. The US thinks Iran will stop the ISIS just like it thought Pakistan will stop the Talibans. And that’s not going to happen.

So, as they say, watch this space.

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