Edi­tor's Voice

Consumer Voice - - Editor's Voice -

“If you don't read the news­pa­per, you're un­in­formed. If you read the news­pa­per, you're mis-in­formed.” ~ Mark Twain

It was up­set­ting. As I went through the cover story of this is­sue, I was once again re­minded of the fact that most of the in­for­ma­tion I am con­sum­ing di­rectly or in­di­rectly is be­ing ‘man­u­fac­tured’ for a pur­pose, has a fo­cused agenda, and some­times is sheer pro­pa­ganda. It would have been okay had this been a case of ad­ver­tise­ments, but it’s not. Most na­tional and in­ter­na­tional news, fa­mous peo­ple’s gos­sip and scan­dals, satire and all those tall tales are ac­tu­ally be­ing fil­tered, al­tered, cropped, chopped and fried, and are be­ing served to us as part of an agree­ment with some busi­ness con­glom­er­ate or a po­lit­i­cal out­fit. These pow­er­ful out­fits ei­ther own or fund the sup­pos­edly in­de­pen­dent, coura­geous, free and truth­ful me­dia houses. In­ter­est­ingly, some of these me­dia houses have been floated solely for the pur­pose of po­lit­i­cal agenda. So, when you see one fa­mous news an­chor prais­ing a po­lit­i­cal move of the prime min­is­ter, his coun­ter­part on an­other chan­nel can be heard crit­i­cis­ing the same.

Sadly, while the learned, think­ing in­di­vid­u­als can read be­tween the lines, they aren’t the ma­jor­ity. Com­mon In­di­ans, busy in their ev­ery­day rou­tines and fo­cused on their daily bread, do not have the space to think, fil­ter, an­a­lyse and in­ter­pret things dif­fer­ently than what is pre­sented to them on TV or news­pa­pers. They be­lieve in the broad­casted words and printed let­ters.

Who’s at fault? What’s the root cause of this un­eth­i­cal drift of our cel­e­brated me­dia? Why me­dia is opin­ion­ated? We all can take a good guess at the an­swers. It’s pri­mar­ily about the money and the power, and the power and the money, and ev­ery­thing in-be­tween.

So, is this the end of the story? I asked my­self. That’s when I re­alised that I am my­self a part of this me­dia fra­ter­nity and so are a few friends and my col­leagues, and as much as I can vouch for my­self, I can for them as well and say none of them have ‘sold’ their ‘in­tegrity’. More­over, I am writ­ing this piece in a mag­a­zine that reaches lakhs of con­scious con­sumers across In­dia, and it is do­ing so with­out be­ing funded, sup­ported, owned, or in­flu­enced by any busi­ness house or po­lit­i­cal party. This mag­a­zine is not even obliged to any com­pany for it doesn’t take ads. And it’s not just Con­sumer Voice – dozens of other such in­de­pen­dent medi­ums are mak­ing sure that the truth is not get­ting buried. Also, thanks to the new-age so­cial medi­ums (Mark Twain would have been glad to see them at work), each one of you now have the power to say it all—and say it aloud in pub­lic. And if you go vi­ral, then even the big, mean me­dia mag­nates can­not ig­nore what you say. If you go su­per vi­ral, you your­self be­come me­dia. Hence, there’s al­ways a beau­ti­ful sil­ver lin­ing.

Padma Edi­tor

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