“We have to cater to the youth market, it is our potential readership. The young are our future leaders”. Changes and ‘innovations’ in media news coverage are thus glibly explained. A dipstick survey among students studying for the Bachelor of Mass Media degree course in the half a dozen colleges did not agree with this approach and argued that they were being made a scapegoat by the media. Their reactions on some of the recent ‘major’ news events:
Abhishek-Aishwaariya engagement: Grossly overplayed to the point of absurdity and as though the media had nothing else to report. Who is interested in where they are going to live after the wedding, how many sarees Aishwariya will be gifted at the wedding, the cost of her engagement ring and the details of the temples the couple visited. What do the media take us for?
Civic Polls: It was pathetic to quote celebrities and pseudo celebrities urging people to go and vote. What happened finally? The elitist areas in the city once again registered the lowest figures? And if some of the so called celebrities did go out and vote, how are we bothered about it? Why waste precious space asking the opinions of celebrities on every issue?
The Shah Rukh-Big B cold war: Why should it interest us? If the vibes are cold, let them be so, there are more important issues to be written about. Most of us enjoy Shah Rukh’s KBC, it’s fun. But Big B’s KBC was also good, though in a different way. Such comparisons are silly.
Media Interviews: Interviews are supposed to say something. Most of the interviews which appeared in the pullouts are just words, words. The journalists did not ask questions, they made statements and waited for his subject to agree with them. Was this because the journalist concerned thought that the subject was too dumb to answer his stupid questions? Why not have interviews with newsworthy people and give us something interesting to read about?
If this is the stuff the media is going to give us, the nation’s youth, it ought to have its head examined. We want serious journalism.