Thursday, February 19, 2009

Make to Works of Small Screen

This year January may be ended with a new version of induced CRITISIM of Newspapers-MINTLIVE, BUSINESS-STANDARD etc. Now it seems to me that the February wanted to end with “conspicuous presence” of small screen revolution in India

A veteran Sociologist Andre Beteille argues like was holding a stock of CRITISM in full stomach for years. For instance see the below paras: 

  • “Not all the information provided on television is of significant value. Much of it is trivial and ephemeral. The analysis provided is sometimes acute and incisive, but often it is empty and vacuous. There is a strain towards the presentation of information in a striking and dramatic form. Much of what takes place in our public life is ordinary and humdrum, but with some effort even the most banal happenings can be given a portentous air. Television reporters and anchors habitually adopt a breathless manner, which even the most seasoned newspaper columnist or radio broadcaster cannot easily simulate. 
  • Doordarshan held the field by itself, there was very little entertainment, and the information was bland and stereotyped. This has changed with the entry of private television channels into the field. Even Doordarshan is now less dull and stodgy than it used to be. Our newsreaders do not have to be grim faced as in China or Russia, and the women among them do not have to cover their heads as in Iran and Pakistan. It is good to see greater variety in dress and deportment although, personally, one regrets the passing of the sari.  
  • The line between entertainment and information is in any case never clear and, where there is acute competition to hold the viewer's attention, it is easily crossed. Leaving aside the embarrassment and anguish caused to individuals and households, matters of public security and institutional propriety tend to be given short shrift. Newsreaders and analysts know how to simulate both grief and concern, but this loses something in credibility when their presentation is regularly interrupted by commercial advertisements that are anything but solemn or sorrowful. 
  • What is worrying about private television is the cut-throat competition between rival channels. The competition affects the manner in which news is presented and, in the end, also its substance. It is natural that when an interesting or important story comes to light each channel should strive to be the first to present it to the public. It is also natural that it should wish to claim that its own story is exclusive. But such a claim serves mainly its own commercial interest rather than any identifiable public purpose. 
  • Private television channels should not be blamed for seeking to augment their revenues, but they, on their side, should not cut too many corners. Nor should they be blamed for seeking credit for providing a useful service provided they do not make lofty moral claims about being the citizen's shield against the authorities. It should not be too difficult for the citizen to determine what they do in the public interest and what they do for profit and, further, to see that the two are not always convergent”. 

See the other post here

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