Saturday, 15 April 2017

Opinionated News

Spoon-feeding has been ingrained in our DNA. Our life starts, literally, with spoon feeding and ends with spoon feeding. I mean, what would you prefer- rice, dal, oil, mustard, salt etc etc in front of you or deliciously cooked Kichdi. We always liked that one professor who would give us IA questions in advance, dint we? So we, as people, always like ready-made, cooked goods. But unfortunately it has even extended to the way we consume news.

A news that comes out as a narrative, as a story appeals to more people than plain facts. Facts are boring. But these narratives are built on opinions. Yes! they are built, created, not presented! So it shouldn't come as a surprise when Mr. Arnab Goswami tells that the future of news is in opinions rather than facts.

Is it wrong? I am not sure! But it is more prone to misuse on two accounts. Firstly, Opinions are biased. 10 different people have 10 different opinions. We form opinions based on our own convenience. Our upbringing, our surroundings, our nationality, religion, caste everything influences our opinions. So why only air opinion of one particular individual who happens to own a news channel. So, naturally, if news becomes opinionated then one sided viewpoints will be broadcast as news.

Secondly, media could become hub for vested interests. In the OJ Simpson trial of the century that's what the attorneys of OJ did. They created narrative, brushed off the facts. Their story appealed to the already biased jury. Hard hitting facts of DA failed to make any impact. Opinionated news can thus easily overshadow the facts. This would lead to a situation where the newsrooms would actually become soap operas showing us alternate Utopian reality.

Opinions are important (after all ain't I giving my opinion here ;)). They should be part of media too. But they cannot replace facts. They should be clearly demarcated from the fact based news. When this happens automatically a news channel would accommodate varied opinions unlike now where a channel has cornered itself towards one facet of the news. Only then can we accept media as the fourth pillar of democracy.

1 comment:

  1. Blogging is the new poetry. I find it wonderful and amazing in many ways.