Coming back to home and its a transition from multiplexes to one room straight back chaired cinema halls, from midnight snacks to 7:00 am breakfasts, from fibre optic broadband to dialup, from Linkin Park to listening to whatevers on TV and from ibnlive videos to watching the newest form of middle class entertainment, the news channels. It is by far the most influential avtar of infotainment, only I dont trust the info part that much. The news channels have come off age since the good old 8:00 pm DD News. There are currently more than 30 news channels available in India, some specialize in the business, rest are general news that span various areas of interest like Bollywood, celebrity life, terrorism, sports, bad governance, stock market, local acts of vandalism etc. These channels have made the middle class more aware about the country as they present the happenings in the country in a more exciting and fictitious way so much so that these news channels have gone on from being the half hour daily watch to being the newest form of 24X7 family entertainment.
Presenting news is not their only job, debates, sting missions, digging old facts and involving the audience in getting exclusive news items is now their MO. Before you start loading your guns, I would like to clarify  that I am not against this, I am merely trying to pose a conflict that I am facing. A few days ago a boy fell in a pit and all the news channels forgot about the terrorist threats to India. The whole country watched one or the other news channel with bated breaths as the indian army struggled to get him out. Instead of being a side story it made the investigation of the Mumbai train blasts a side story.
A couple of days ago the editorial on TOI talked about the Dalrymple’s latest book, The Last Mughal, which brought back the old question that journalists asked historians, why cant history be told in such a way that its more comprehensible to the lay man, in other words, why cant history be more proletariat. An obvious extension would be to manipulate history aka facts to suit the proleteriat, my question to the present day journalists are you ready to do that? Making facts more interesting so that more and more people get to know it is good, but the problem is that once this begins, theres nothing stopping it from getting out of hand. The job of journalism is to tell people facts, not to rank these facts in increasing order of TRP. Of course I could be over reacting to the whole scenario too, I mean, it could be just another metamorphosis in news production, the channels that I talk may not be the old news channels like BBC anymore, in fact I have doubts whether the present day BBC is any way like the old BBC itself, they may be the new age real life entertainment.  My only advise would be that its always best not to take everything hook, line and sinker. Like everything else news channels are also parts in the capitalistic clock work.