Thats right! In a seminar hosted by Divya Bhaskar in Ahmedabad on Saturday, 18th December Rajdeep Sardesai blamed the ills of the media on a corrupt society.
The DNA reports: "Today's TV viewer or reader is only in search of crime and cricket which eventually affects the credibility of the journalists," said Padmashree Rajdeep Sardesai. He added that the media at times seems week due to a corrupt society. So because people are crazy about crime stories, cinema and cricket, journalists are willing to sacrifice ‘credibility’? He also went on to say "At times, we take our viewers for granted."
I wonder how Rajdeep came to this great scientific conclusion that media is weak because of a corrupt society. What makes up ‘society’? Politicians and journalists are a very small number when compared to our populous society. The number of influential businessmen is even smaller when compared to politicians and journalists. So this extraordinary logic that a corrupt society is to blame for media ills is wanton and thoughtless at best. Society has largely been a victim of corruption and not the perpetrator. Society is largely made up of ordinary men and women who work or do business and lead an honest life. A big chunk of society barely makes ends meet. It is the number of corrupt people in powerful places that is a very small number in comparison. The media is a slave to this very small population of the corrupt and not of the society. To blame society for media’s problems is like blaming the rape victim for being provocatively dressed. And this comes from Rajdeep Sardesai, the Chief Editor of CNN-IBN, a channel which does not exactly cover itself in glory where honest reporting is concerned. (Read the CNN-IBN fake tweets article here.)
Being credible, honest, fair are choices any professional makes. That applies to journalists too. In what way does society influence media to be anything else? On the contrary it’s the media that has the power to indulge in propaganda and lop sided stories. If stories of adulterous professors get greater TRPs then it’s the media that plays it up for drama, don’t blame society. Rahul Mahajan’s spat with his wife from a reality show was a prime time main story on CNN-IBN. Who runs these stories? Does society ask for such crap on a news channel? There are many other channels specialising in such dirt, what makes Rajdeep’s channel make such non-issues a major headline? Rajdeep should know that the biggest business on the internet is pornography. So if porn were to be legalised in India would CNN-IBN be peddling porn stories because it’s very popular and demanded? What kind of twisted logic is that, Rajdeep? Pray what part of society compels CNN-IBN to use fake tweets to support or legalise lobbying? What compels TV channels to dish out biased reports day in and day out? Society’s demands may compel competition, but does it compel journalists to act as power brokers with lobbyists like Nira Radia?
Rajdeep Sardesai should find better reasons for media’s weaknesses and not blame society.