“Manufactured news” best describes the kind of reportage which has been going on offlate in India. Midnightbreakfast blog has constantly highlighted this aspect whether it was the Yakub Memon case or the murder which took place in Dadri, UP. Job of the media is to report news and not impose views on the news consuming public. However, what is instead observed is that the main stream media in India is quick to latch onto a “Story” which fits their narrative and blows it out of proportion, milks it till they can no longer attract incremental eye balls. Its a classic case of media bias.
Ofcourse, the victim in the entire episode gets side tracked and all that is highlighted is what is meant to be highlighted in the first place. We have heard stuff like “Idea of India under threat”, “Rising instances of intolerance in the country” etc. etc. Such sweeping generalisations often indicate lack of substance.The lame defense of “shooting the messenger” also doesnt work incase the media argues back because the media is not longer “just a messenger”. The power which the media yields is huge but power comes with responsibility. But what it has displayed offlate is irreponsible journalism.
The unfortunate incident at Dadri, UP received tremendous media coverage. Media was falling over itself to cover the incident in UP. The crime should hve been treated as a crime, been thoroughly investigated to ensure the guilty are brought to book. Instead, the media frenzy surrounding the case politicised the case. But it seems that the media has an axe to grind. In another incident in Maharastra which can be found here a police constable was murdered. But this incident wont fit the narrative being sold offlate. Sadly it might just remain a statistic.
Arun Jaitley called the recent events “manufactured”. This was seconded by Sir Mark Tully, the venerable broadcast journalist here . He feels the beef controversy is an artificial one created by the press in India He says, “‘a lot of controversies regarding the beef issue is being manufactured and it is an artificial crises in this peace-loving country’. “I have been living in Nizamuddin for more than a decade which is national captial’s most densely Muslim-populated area, but never came across any Muslim who prefer to eat cow meat/beef.” He further said, “There are communities who eat flesh of canines, but they respect the sentiments of people like me who are animal or dog lovers, similarly, Muslims in India too respect the sentiments of other community and avoid food culture which may hurt others.”
Consistency of reportage with balanced coverage is what leads to a build of credibility which is so very important for media outlets. However, what is on display is a diametrically opposite destructive kind of reporting.