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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Media's excessive, hysteric coverage of Australia hostage crisis led to worldwide panic: Is one madman enough to scare us all?

The Australian hostage crisis was no doubt serious but the amount of coverage it was given--live reporting across the world, for nearly 14 hrs, created panic across the globe.

Is it fair? Is one madman or a criminal [and his actions] in a city [Sydney] enough to create scare in the entire world?

No one says that it was a minor incident. But it is also a fact that it is not the first such case. Hostage situations regularly take place in cities across the world.

The amount of live coverage and the publicity given to the incident, is astonishing. Aren't we terrorising ourselves?

Isn't it that any nutcase or delusional person or a hardcore criminal--who either wants attention or is lunatic, can now do a criminal act, and know that he would be able to create scare in the world for a day.

Media's high-pitched coverage across the world led to such a panic that everywhere people were discussing this incident. Even heads of states in other countries were being briefed about it, TV channels reported.

Aren't we giving too much attention and publicity to criminals and giving them ideas? Media must introspect. There are incidents of much bigger magnitude--in terms of abductions and deaths, but they were never played up in this manner.

Is it because it happened in Australia, and incidents in particular countries get more attention. Just like incidents in Africa, Latin America, East Asia are ignored! However, by any standards, the coverage was excessive.

Incidents of gunmen who have killed dozens in US in recent incidents, never got this much coverage. The Sydney siege and the manner in which media played up, is definitely disturbing. For the sake of eyeballs--for getting more viewers, an unfolding story is reported live and it creates paranoia all over.

Australia government, officials' role praiseworthy

The Australian government, officials and their people must be praised for their role. They dealt with the situation deftly.

Their maturity level was clearly visible. Australia's prime minister Tony Abott on TV said that it appeared to be the work of a 'politically motivated perpetrator', however, in India, a leading Hindi TV channel was translating it into 'Aatankwadi', even when not a single bullet had been fired.

The hashtag #illridewithyou on Twitter to show solidarity with Muslims, must be praised. It was no small gesture, given the kind of coverage and its possible backlash. We Salute you my Australian brothers and sisters for it. 

In comparison, in India, TV channels suspended other stories and throughout the day, aired it. In fact, a bomb blast in Manipur in which a person was killed and five were injured, was not even mentioned. See LINK

The world has definitely shrunk but in process, have our brains, especially of those in the media, shrunk too?