October 22, 2018

Fake News

Fake News has made it to the headlines . It has been named the word of the year 2017 .

The credit for its popularity obviously goes to President Trump , his repeated use of the word to describe News media that have been snapping at his heels trying to discredit and defame him , has in a way glorified the word .

The word ‘Fake News’ is going places but is its definition actually following suit ? Is news being faked ?

The answer to the question depends on who the question is posed to .

No point posing the question to President Trump because only a snobbish retort will be forthcoming . But if someone still persists and musters the courage to ask him , then choice expletives are sure to greet him . Who knows , another of his words might end-up becoming the ‘Word’ of the year 2018 .

Now , on a serious note , Times have changed , viewership and readership patterns have changed with changing interests and habits . In Keeping pace with changing times and tastes the content of both TV & Print media has also changed .

I remember , in those days a hot cup of coffee and a newspaper were the vital elixir that rebooted the biological system of elders in almost every household . Radio and print media were the only medium to connect to the outer world .

But today we live right in the middle of info-highways , connected 24/7, abreast of happenings in every nook & corner of the World, and our hunger for news is seemingly insatiable . The fetish to twiddle with the remote is a common feature in every house , no channel is able to hold one’s interest for even a minute, such is our impatience for breaking news & sensational news .

No wonder the media houses are under tremendous pressure to deliver content ‘as it happens and from ‘wherever it happens’ in their desperate quest to sustain viewership and readership .

But , pressures beget mistakes . Pressure drives you to veer away from the right path , pressure corrupts . Pressure compels journalists to become ‘News Traders’ , Blackmailers , political stooges and what not .

The present breed of journalists ( a majority of them ) are caught in the vortex of commercial Journalism . The immediate result of this is unethical journalism . Greedy compulsions like ‘Power & Money’ have prompted the unethical Journalists to joins hands with equally unethical politicians and the resultant ‘Jugalbandi’ has paid rich dividends to both parties .

The politicians get a platform to propagate their ideology . They are given a podium to hark about their achievements . And the biased moderators refrain from touching upon touchy issues giving the politicans a free run with their monotonous propaganda .

In the bargain , the Media houses and their star jurno’s get access to the corridors of power . They immediately are privy to critical political inputs that give them an edge over competitors . Coaxed by Political leaders , business houses generously support the Media with endorsements and advertisements , and the quid-pro-quo is un-missable .

This being the scenario , no amount of shouting hoarse is going to absolve the Media of their dark intent . Look at the TV channels , no citizen can touch his heart and say that a particular channel is honest , Un-biased and non-opinionated . Bet one can never find a single debate that is not stacked in favour of the Channel’s political leanings . Bet – a Compare will always head in the direction of a conclusion that’s already been pre-concluded on the back stage .

So, it’s futile to deny the existence of News that is Fake . It’s futile to assume that Media houses de-hyphenate TRP & Profit . It’s futile to believe that a nexus between Politics & Media is a fiction of one’s imagination . It’s futile, and at times dangerous , to presume that – what you see is the Truth .

Welcome to the world of ‘FAKE NEWS’.

 

@bobsimhan

Picture Credit: Screen shot from Twitter @PTI_News and @smritiirani 

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About Narsimhan OSL 102 Articles
Consultant for Auto-LPG based in Hyderabad. He has interest in current affairs, likes to read a lot and write a bit.
Contact: Twitter