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Appalling behaviour of TV channel participants

Appalling behaviour of TV channel participants
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Appalling behaviour of TV channel participants

Highlights

It was a pleasure for me to wait for the "Spotlight" that has been transmitted on various current issues by News Service Division, All India Radio for 15 minutes between 9-15 PM and 9-30 PM every day

It was a pleasure for me to wait for the "Spotlight" that has been transmitted on various current issues by News Service Division, All India Radio for 15 minutes between 9-15 PM and 9-30 PM every day. Though it was only audio, the decorum of that discussion was appreciable. The expert would give a nice presentation about the topic of the spotlight. The advent of television and its user-friendliness has made radio, a memory for us.

Owing the technology explosion in the field of television has given scope for the sprouting of many channels that have brought competition among them. To compete with other channels and to grab the top spot in TRP ratings the TV news channels have started to focus on sensational and on current issues. For this, they have ignored the ethics of journalism and trying to beating around the bush.

Recently a shocking incident took place during a debate on a television channel in which a participant slapped the other with his slipper. Of course, he is not aware of the proverb" He who strikes the first blow has lost the argument". This has reduced the honour of the television debates and has become a cause for the displeasure of the viewership. The electronic media in our country is now literally testing the patience of the people with discussions. These discussions have lost their credibility and their decorum because the panellists are losing their control over words and virtually coming to blows.

It is noticeable the TV channels have become sympathisers of political outfits and to reflect their ideology they will select the issues to be discussed. Journalism is a sacred profession that will bestow its efforts for the dissemination of information through public media concerning factual ongoing events of public concern. However, today it is a search for a needle in a haystack to find such journalism. It is noticeable instead of dissemination of information the journalism is now blackmailing and enhancing their empires.

The TV channels have forgotten their social responsibility and accountability to make the people more rational and expressive in their thought. The anchors that are coordinating the debate are deliberately ignoring the ethics of journalism such as impartiality, objectivity, balance, bias, privacy, and the public interest. This has brought down the quality of Indian TV news debates and hitting new lows for a few years. The anchors also have forgotten their concrete role to make people aware of the focused issues instead they are encouraging the cockfights and raising the adrenal levels of the panellists and the viewership.

Further, the anchors are unnecessarily making noisy interruptions and belittling the views of the panelists in a very biased manner. The channel management is also picking such types of anchors to host their debates for their ratings. Of course, they are well aware of the remark of Robert Quillen "Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance".

It is an appalling thing that in our country the ethical debacle of the fourth estate will surely promote corruption, nepotism, and oppression on weaker section's voice. Further, it will also be a threat to the democratic spirit of the country. It is very paining to think even after seven decades of independence freedom of opinion, exchange of views are not on the right track. The technology explosion has failed to bring transparency in the dissemination of information for the public interest instead; it has promoted the erosion of ethics.

This situation would not help for the expression of public opinion on certain issues of public interest which is an essential thing in democracy and realise the remark of Sir Winston Churchill" some people's idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage". Isn't it?

E Gajendra Nath Reddy, Badvel

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