My association with the world of media is still at its nascent stage and I am still learning the ways of having a strong hold in this world. When I was a formal media student, studying the ABC of the subject, I was told that while reporting there should always be a two-sided views and we as media persons should often try to keep ourselves away from giving any opinionated comments. ‘Facts are sacred’ is the golden rule, I was told and even that media people should not barge into anyone’s privacy just for the sake of news and if the arguments supporting one’s invasion is weak, it is better to stay away.
“Reporting the facts the way as it is, without trying to colour it in your own opinions, is what you are suppose to do,” said a top notch journalist from the State who was our faculty. His words were not only inspiring but they in fact drove me and many like me from our batch to take up media as the source for earning our bread and butter. But…I was not aware that this butter actually tastes bitter!
As years rolled on and I completed five years of active and passive journalism, I have slowly understood that in most cases, Assamese journalists are nothing more than that member in every family who has a say in everything- does not matter even if his say is wrong, half baked and stupid. The media that we read in black & white is still somewhat better, but the one with live images and sound is sour.
If on one hand the print media (majority of them), in bold headlines left no stone unturned to blame an actress for India’s semi final departure in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, the TV on the other hand always turns to its favourite guinea pig- Zubeen Garg- when it is out of any spicy story.
From ‘Killer 87’ to ‘Sunere Sojuwa Poja’, from ‘Pole act’ to ‘Slap-gate’, Zubeen Garg has been one of the most favourite topics for the TV media to discuss, dissect, bisect and ‘analyse’. Absurd, all I can say.
It is said that excess of everything is bad and one day it gets boring and I think same has happened with the media and now they are bore of creating controversies about Zubeen and has found a new scapegoat- Papon. Even though he is not known to have triggered controversies in the past, but that does not mean media was not eyeing on him and when it got an opening…it just capitalised!
But…hold it…I think I am going all wrong here! It is not about Zubeen or Papon or India’s defeat that the media is jogging after, it indeed has always been about creating some ‘controversy’…media’s favourite child. Creating controversy at the drop of a hat is an art; an art mastered well by us…the media guys!
“What is your favourite pass time when you have no news…to think of a bigger controversy?” I was once asked by a senior from my area when I told him that I am a newsman.
And the same views were echoed by several others. In fact, in a hangout joint the word media actually became a joke and like Rajanikant jokes, ‘media jokes’ became an instant hit.
“Hey so what if Zubeen and Papon had said that so and so song needs to be our State song? Those from your field, who are blaming the two and creating a controversy out of nothing, how many of you know the actual length of the State song or when was it composed and I won’t be surprised if a majority of your dynamic and young journos actually can pronounce and sing the song,” wrote an argumentative but frustrated Assamese messaged me in my Facebook.
“Thanks to your unwanted sensations that people were driven out in emotions and dharnas were taken out, and they were lambasted. Why man, don’t you people understand humour? The two songs in contention are actually known to almost each and every Assamese and hence in a lighter sense the two singers said to make their respective songs as State anthems,” my frustrated mate continued, adding, “At least their humour is better than your artificial laughter when some young boy remembers the name of all the world capitals. That guy with a fake accent is irritating, do you know that? And then you have these great knights with a pen who have literally thought that pen is mightier than a sword. I mean who has given you the right to write so many shits and nonsensical stuff? Heights man heights. Assamese people, in general, are a bunch of idiots and they have nothing fruitful to do and so they are always involved in such stupid stuff. And on top of add your 24*7 reporting is always there to delude the already deluded minds.”
And my friend wasn’t wrong either.
‘Media means to sensitise’, I was told by faculties but seeing the state of affairs in Assam all I can say is that the phrase has been rechristened to ‘Media is for sensation’. A girl is seen at night, walking alone, create sensation. Young couples pass some leisurely moments in a park, create sensation. One minister says he is unaware of a certain thing about his party, again create sensation and portray the politician as a dissident. If that is not enough, go global and blame the actress for India’s loss.
Now it’s time for pure news and not controversy…a utopia after which I am running, aiming since long!