Gone are the days when the era of investigative journalism was on the rise, where nothing escaped the media’s eyes be it from small benign news to news regarding the change or introduction of significant reforms. The media was then believed to be the highest platform for reporting factual information.
Over the years the role of media has shifted from reporting factual information to keeping tabs on whereabouts of politicians, famous personalities, reporting updates from the entertainment industry to the point of even falsifying information to serve the purpose and agendas of different political parties to get an association with them.
Today’s media is meant for influencing and reporting what serves the purpose of current political association.
Some recent media-hyped and manipulated incidents
On February 20, 2020, the remarkable stunt of Indian media in stirring away from facts was when all the news channels broadcasted the possibility of 3,000 tonnes of gold reserves buried in the soil of Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra District taking both the national and international population by surprise.
However, the news turned to be misleading as the Geological Survey of India confirmed the estimated amount of gold that can be extracted is 160 kg and not 3,000 tonnes. The media houses played on the sentiments of people and encouraged a falsified flow of information.
It becomes very glaringly evident even when President Trump decided to visit India on 24-25 February 2020, a two-day visit for trade deals and building relations. All the news platforms glorified and covered each inch of footage from what all went down between PM Narendra Modi and President Trump, from his arrival in Ahmedabad to the formal talks.
At the same time, the capital was burning in the agony of protest against the CAA which had turned worse. Just a few hours before the arrival of President Trump, a police constable died while trying to handle the protests in North East Delhi which had taken the form of communal distress. Many media houses did not cover it only until later.
Ahead of Trump’s visit, a 400-metre-long wall which seven feet in height was built to hide the view of slum areas from Trump’s lodging in Gujarat citing beautification and cleanliness reason but the circumstance and hastiness indicates otherwise. The media focusing on the plight of slum dwellers is just another case where the media houses took the chance to vocalise their own agendas instead of listening to the issues and problems of slum dwellers and getting those in the limelight.
Such news only makes one realise that what you hear and see needs to be cross-checked with what is real and factual. News platforms now can’t be trusted completed as even that have turned out to be a business venture rather than a social medium to reach out to the mass with the truth.