The Changing Face of Indian Media

Media Empowerment is a sign of true democracy-it is the perfect tool to communicate with one and all, in short the entire world. It has been 60 years since India achieved its independence; Indian media has grown by leaps and bounds. A person rejoicing on listening to their favorite radio programme is a thing of the past. In this day and age, media is splattered all over the place-snazzy tabloids, round -the clock- news channels and not to forget, the revamped radio circuit.

A few decades ago, media in India was associated with magazines and newspapers. Television was a scarce commodity, only the urban population could afford to have one. The advent of television has brought about a whole lot of transformation, especially in terms of its programme content. Our country has definitely evolved in each and every aspect, so why media should be left behind?

Newspapers have always been the perfect accompaniment with the morning cup of tea. But did we all know how tedious it was to print one? How many complicated structures had to be installed? The mantra in this jet age is ‘Practicality coupled with technology’. The machines have given way to desktop terminals, getting rid of the mess. Not only has the content enormously improved, there has also been an upsurge in the efficiency of operations. Media has a ‘brand-new’ definition NOW.

Convergent media is booming, it has certainly become the buzzword. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the strategies of the media bigwigs have been to incorporate communication and technology so as to introduce new frontiers in the communications industry. The glamour industry as well as the entertainment sector has been in the process of merging with these houses so as to realize larger benefits. Smart thinking, isn’t it?

The consumer has benefitted largely due to this drastic makeover. The available technology has made it possible to come out with a uniform newspaper, adding to its reliability factor. Not only can the matter be shared or transferred within seconds, the possibility of errors is minor too. Glossy pictures or colorful advertisements catch the readers’ attention instantly. Previously, it was a hurdle to get hold of such material but now everything is available at the click of a finger or mouse (pun intended). Doesn’t this overnight development amaze you?

The Internet is the best thing to have happened to all of us. Don’t we all agree to that? Almost all the newspaper editions are available on the net, making it convenient for the generation ‘on the move’. Media organizations have been smart enough to tap its potential. These editions ensure that no stale news is available to the reader, hence updating it at regular intervals. Believe me or not, there is so much variety on the web, everything is available under one roof. Citizen journalism is climbing up the ladder too. People like you and me are more involved now, thanks to the widespread awareness. So, sending a video or even a photograph concerning a particular incident in your vicinity could do wonders.

But like every other field, it has its share of brickbats too. Media has this strange habit of sensationalizing any piece of news. Due to break-neck competition, the race to gaining the highest TRP’S has affected the quality of journalism. Constructive and meaningful coverage has been lost in this era of reprehensible politics. Reality TV is big this season. A ‘Rakhi Sawant’ might garner more eyeballs than any hard-hitting reality. But is today’s media limited to glitz and glamour? Though media has unveiled the high profile cases of Jessica Lal and Priyadarshini Mattoo, it has a negligible role to play in taking immediate action against farmer suicides and the like. These cases have been effortlessly shoved to the backburner. Why so, because they lack spice?

Though media is an indispensable tool, it has a social responsibility attached to it. I strongly believe in the age old adage ‘A pen is mightier than a sword’. If the pen is put to right use, the world could flourish. If not, it could become the biggest weakness of Indian media.

-Geetika Sachdev