Tuesday, June 29, 2021

How a family of 5 can be seen as 'draining resources of nation' while a family of 153 praised for 'joint family tradition': Indian Journalism

First see the newspaper clipping on the left and then you will realise howmedia has the huge power to create perception.

1. A family with 5-6 children or photo can be used to portray them as 'threat to nation, overpopulating and draining resources of the nation' but another family with 153 members is termed as 'great example of joint family, carrying Indian tradition forward'. 
And, reader won't even notice, how cleverly it happens. That's the power of 'journalism', as it creates perception. How things can be presented or misrepresented, depending on who has the power in newsrooms. How the agenda gets pushed and everyone starts believing it. 

2. This is Surja Ram's family. Report was carried as 'Special' on Family Day in a positive way. All praise for the family with so many members. The report lauded Surja Ram's family with the line, 'even in these times, they stay together'. Pride, 'values'.

3. The reader is so glad to know about the family. But another report about a different family of mere five kids, or caption with a photo [remember the Open cover story] is so negative and reader would accept that too--Bad people. That's how once brain works in accordance with media reports. No questions.

4. Any thing can be cleverly presented in a totally different way. If the person is biased, he can do it. That's the power of journalism. In fact, misuse of the power of 'wielding the pen'. Not as tool to inform, but as a weapon to damage, defame and destroy. 

5. Basically, a journalist or writer must be objective. It means that he should be fair, just and neither pursuing particular agenda, nor going overboard. But this is probably impossible to expect in present times. So just remember this, how any aspect can be presented differently.

The clipping is old, but this is just an example. In fact, images of a man with his children, on a bike have been used to spread hate. A well-known news magazine had even photo-shopped an image to create a false perception, and linked it with 'over-population' in a cover story.

Nothing is wrong in writing positively about a family, but then standards should be same. Fascism must not come wrapped in the attractive label of 'news' or under the garb of 'journalism'. Besides, the victims must know the reality and should be able to identify and distinguish--what's news, what's propaganda. and what's the real agenda.