Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Manufacturing for the media

The media is an industry. On the one hand, for the media to cover, news needs to be happen. On the other hand, if a news is not covered by the media, then it is not news at all. That gives rise to a strange species of "news", the news that is created by/for the media. 

Many years back, there was a great deluge in Mumbai - 1991/92 and we had a wedding to attend. Obviously, not too many people made it to the wedding. A few brave souls landed up with their fineries wrapped in plastic bags, changed and attended the wedding. There was another function in the same building which had a handful of guests. Someone had a brainwave and the guests of the two functions were combined to create a wedding for the videographer - minus the deluge. So, unmindful of the water all around, the wedding happened with the people closing ranks and the camera taking only short range shots. I suspect that if one looked at the video wedding, you would never realize that it was a "video manufactured" wedding.

In the same way, a lot of agitations that are covered are agitations for the media - token protests, fast-a-thons, candle light stupidities and they dutifully get reported to us as news...

In the bargain, some real news gets shot down. 

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