Media’s Bias a & Tackling it
Ideally we would all want the media to be unbiased and report the news instead of views. However, unbiased reporting is slowly but steadily becoming a mirage. People in the media are having their own views rather than the news. Till date we used see news stories reported with views. We have also seen interviews where the anchors grill the people whom they dislike and go soft on the ones whom they like.
Things are hitting a new low where we are seeing that the anchors trying to twist the discourse in public interviews also. Recently there was this interview/ dialogue with people of Smriti Irani ji where the anchors tried there best to change the discourse. Thankfully the minister was very aggressive and stood her ground.
First they asked her questions on politics in what was supposed to be an event on education and the way Human Resources Development ministry was functioning. I don’t have any qualms on this as the minister is a politician. However, I felt that the questions were biased in nature. When the minister got back to the anchors, they were trying to tell her that they were asking these questions on behalf of the people of the country. Now the crowd sitting there objected to this and they were up in arms. Then the female anchor was saying that people cannot decide the questions that need to be raised in events of this sort.
These journo’s were not correct on their facts, time and again the minister was ripping them apart as she had a better command and control over the facts. They were trying to take the discourse to Rahul and Smriti ji was at her aggressive best to get the dialogue back on track. Do watch the video.
Here are the links for the full session.
Here is the second part. Here I was shocked when the journalist asked the minister. “You lost an election, you have controversies, What was so special in you that you got a ministry at such a young age ?” (This is not the exact translation of the Hindi that was spoken there, I heard him say Aap me kya khoobi hien which is derogatory in one sense, I could not translate that correctly to English, in a way one can interpret that the looks of the person were being referred to ) I mean, shouldn’t there be some decency while asking questions? Smriti pounced on the question and gave the journalist left right and center and the crowd too demanded an apology from the anchor. I liked the crowd for the support that was extended to the minister.
Now, how do you face this sort of biased journos. Should you out on an all out or no holes barred attack ? Should you sit back and try and watch out for the drama to unfold but by then the narrative would have been hijacked by the person interviewing you. Should every party have a media arm so that their views come out correctly in the prime time television? Owning media houses will only make the waters more murkier. The people will not get any unbiased opinion and that would take them to the era where there was no media in the first place.
I felt Smriti ji did the right thing in coming out with the counter attack right from minute one. She was in control of the proceedings and her voice echoed with the nation. However, the trouble with the aggression is that you would come across as a person who dictates stuff to others. This seems to be the better of the two evils for now.
The long term solution for this must be the self correction from the media. If this bias goes on unchecked it will be media which loses the credibility. The credibility is already eroding and if the course correction is not done soon, media neutrality will become a myth in India.