Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Topic for the day - Take 2

It was good seeing your responses yesterday and I loved giving comments on them. I will be writing a complete fundae comment at the end of the day on yesterday's topic. I will also consolidate the whole thing at the end of the day so that you can reference it at one place in future.

Till then, all who want to move on to the next topic, here it comes.

"24/7 News Channels - A bane to the society"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Start:- Since the advent of cable tv, we have seen a sea of channels flooding our screen. A major chunk of them constitute news channels.
I think we should span the following areas while discussing this topic.
As a boon, we can discuss about:
a)Accessibility of information
b)Greater coverage
c)Effect on society due to greater awareness
As a bane, we can see:-
a) exaggerating of news
b) Wrong/faulty display of facts
c) commertialisation of news presentation

In the middle i can chip in the followign points:-
1) the sting operations conducted due to the hunger for TRP ratings has exposed many corrupt politicians/govt officers.
2) a requirement of censorship on them in order to stop torn display of facts but in parallel to keep ensuring the freedom of media( maybe i am diverting from the topic a bit, maybe a bit more :))

3:03 AM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How often do we see a 24/7 news channel displaying a "Breaking News" screen and which indeed by itself is a Breaking News but to put in another way, How often do we see those breaking news?
Not undermining the importance of the news channel in getting the news faster to the mass, it also leads to wide chaos where the information is sometimes incorrect (site the instances of info being incorrect eg:Mumbai blast)
The essence of the news is lost on fight over the display of news first!!! (again Mumbai blast, where news channle emphasised on the fact that it had brought the coverage much before anyone)
It is one of the important means of making people form an opinion towards a person by emphasising their own opinion (illustrating eg of Saurav Ganguly)


3:22 AM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Joydeep Mukherjee said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:42 AM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well don't have much to start it off, so probably would chip in, in the middle with the following points -

Certainly favourable in terms of continous accessibility and coverage, however a couple of issues need to be addressed to make them more purposeful...

- Create enuf content.
- Aviod undue exaggeration n manipulation of facts.
- Avoid insensitive questioning and commenting, especially in sensitive cases. The purpose shud be to bring out the news "objectively". Cite some examples....
(Right to Freedom - a condition where the freedom for one is only restricted by the right of an equal freedom for another).
-Add documentraies of social, national n political importence in between.
-Have "greater public awareness" as their mission/vision rathar than captilising on sensationalism. (Would be harmful for them in the long run)


3:48 AM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Good points till now

1. Accessibility to information leading to greater awareness in the society

2. Commercialization and its effect on distortion of news

3. Need for censorship

4. Exposure of corruption

5. Imposing the opinion on the masses

6. Good to see the issue of 'how to make it better' being taken up rather than just discussing the pros and cons - Rosogolla, a brownie point for that

7. Adding documentaries etc to cool the pressure of continuos news - pretty good idea.

On the whole, the discussion is going great. Good to see some very nice points being made with very little scope for me to give negative critic :)

But there are lot other perspectives that can come along and am sure that people will pitch in with more. C'mon guys, it already looks like a better discussion than the previous one. Way to go still.

5:40 AM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...


Good to see that your points are far better than they were yesterday. You have put in more thought on this. Good going.

5:41 AM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Rosogolla (sweet name :),

Good to see you saying that you wont start since you are not sure if you can provide structure. Perfectly OK not to start. And good points in the middle anyway to take you to the shores

5:46 AM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

START- The biggest revolution of this era has taken place in the field of information technology.the progress has reached such heights that we r literally bombarded with information.everywhere...Its here that 24/7 news channels r playing an eminent role..
Agreed that they r doing their best in keeping us uptodate of every little occurence in d world around us..but in d process they become a nuisance 4 several reasons:
(1)Being solely dedicated 2 news they tend 2 put forward news that is of trivial significance(ex..footages of each n evry incident of rahul mahajan's entire drug episode)
(2)While their task is 2 report facts..they get down 2 tear apart them nd indulge in Q.ANS. sessions which r uncalled 4,especially in sensitive issuesthey make a mockery of d feelings of those affected.)
(3)Repeating d same news over n over again is annoying..

(1)Viewers get deeply involved n d happenings coz they can keep a tab on every little development.
(2)Mediums like Citizen Journalist improve social consciousness.viewers realise dat their contribution can make a difference.


5:48 AM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...


Good point on the 'breaking news' and the example of Mumbai:) Will be good to cut on the rhetoric though. Also would expect more points from you.

5:49 AM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Extremely sorry 4 interrupting d flow of d discussion ( breaking news..),but i could n't resist myself from posting 2 thank...gyan-ee..i m sure all of u wud agree on dat...i mean how simply and lucidly u have given us comments along with directions as 2 how 2 start ..chip in..they r simply than any coaching class can giv us..thanks a lot 4 this initiative...i have really gained a lot in just 1 discussion..felt good after exercising my grey cells....loolking forward 2 a great journey ahead..
thanku very much...

6:03 AM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous admissionmilega? said...

I want to point out regarding the channels exposing scandals/curropt officials. The channels hardly follow up such cases.Their main motive is to create a noise to increase the TRP ratings.

There has also been an instance of a channel showing a suicide live. But later it was proved that the journalist had actually given the match stick to the victim. So what was the motive. Wasnt it just to create a story to increase the TRP ratings of the channel.

6:13 AM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

START - There has been a growth in the number of cable tv subscribers in the country in the last few years. Now many people have access to multiple channels, of which some of them are 24/7 news channels. These news channels are also competing among themselves to woo the maximum no:of viewers. In the midst of this competition, is the news being reported sometimes distorted? is the quality of the news affected?. Are the news channels doing more harm than good? These are some of the issues we should look into.
1) Focus has shifted from the importance\quality of the content to "what interests the viewers more?". So the channels sometimes end up sensationalising not so relevant issues.
2) Sometimes in their qwest for more information to stay ahead in the competition, reporters end up pursuing people who do not want to talk. For example a victim\family of victim of a crime are sometimes pursued ruthlessly by reporters. The victims\family may be trying to come out of the tragedy. Reporters should understand that they are also human beings and need some privacy and time to come out of the tragedy.
3) News channels today broadcast debates, opinion polls, interviews with celebrities\politicians etc other than news. Sometimes news channels end up showing only one side of the opinion and not both sides of the coin. We should also take note of the fact that the results of the opinion polls on various issues may not reflect the opinion of the entire public.
4) There are interviews with significant persons on the lines of HardTalk. There is a danger here of someone with dangerous ideas being able to outwit the interviewer and sell his ideas and gaining instant attention.
In the end the viewers should take note that the channels are functioning under intense competition. So the news reported may not be entirely correct or the opinions may not be the most correct one. Viewers should show the discretion to separate what is right from wrong. Information and Broadcasting ministry can step into action if the things go out of control

10:35 AM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Gyan, sorry to break the flow of discussion .It is really great of you to spend your time and effort to help us. Thank you.
Now to the topic
One question to you
The topic is 24\7 channels a bane to society. In this case should we discuss the advantages of the media? In my previous post I have included only the disadvantages :|.
We can include some case studies also in the discussion. I can also contribute with some topics.
Also can you recommend some good sites for GD\Case studies?

10:45 AM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...


1. I would term 24/7 news channels as 'mass media' rather than 'information technology'. they are more of information channels.

2. Social conciousness thru citizen journalist a good point.

3. Other points are good too, even though some of them have been made by others.

And thanks for your Kudos. I set out to help a few and it give a great kick to know it is of value to you all.

10:47 PM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Admission milega?, (zaroor:))

Good counter point on exposing scandals, that the news channels do not follow it up putting a question mark on the motive.

Other point also fine. Good going. Next topic, I want to see you putting in a good 'start' too

10:50 PM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the admissionmilega?'s comment, i want to add the example of saddam husain's execution. In spite of knowing it to be a very sensitive issue and the clip of being unofficial, many renowned television news channels have shownt he explicit clippings.
Also, regarding Hope's comment, i can chip in the example of how the exclusion of saurav ganguly was given a political colour by many news channels.

Regardingthe seriousness of the news channels about the public debate , i would point out that how many a times, we see those debate coming to a abrupt halt in the middle of a sinsitive discussion just to show a string of commercials.

10:53 PM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the comment made by ANYA about the citizen journalism, i want to point out the downside of it as how the citizens are paid to send the mms clips of events which has resulted in people taking pictures of the wounded and dead during mumbai blasts instead of helping then get medical aid.

10:57 PM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...


1. Pretty good start. Especially since it opens the topic into discussion. Cud have added a couple of points, but still a decent start.

2. "is the news being reported sometimes distorted? is the quality of the news affected?" --- Both are same points I guess making a nice point look like rhetoric. Try and be more crisp, then more people will listen :)

3. "reporters end up pursuing people who do not want to talk" --- Good point. But it would have looked better if you had used the term 'invasion of privacy'. The good point of using such terms is you dont have to elaborate your point much. Be crisp and the group has more time to discuss

4. Viewers also have the responsibility of taking the news with a pinch of salt - very good point. Phrase it better and you wud get a quarter trophy.

And by the way, I would have liked some positive points about the media too. I guess there are some :)

Good effort on the whole

10:57 PM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Hey Hope,

You SHUD be discussing the positive side of the story too. You wud see that it was a deliberate ploy from my side to give a negative view in the topic itself :)

Will be good if you can put in some case studies. I was planning to create a one on my own, but it takes time.

Only make sure that too many people have already not read the case study at some other place. Then people will not put extra effort to think beyond :)

And thanks for the appreciation.

11:01 PM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...


Good counter points. It enhances the level of discussion when someone contradicts.

And bringing in the 'commercials' angle to question the seriousness of the media was a decent attempt.

Guys/Gals, is there no one who wants to jump in and take the trophy by saying something good about the media. They are not so bad afterall :)

11:15 PM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just for making an attempt towards the trophy ;)

Getting news 24/7 is a very tough job considering the material to be presented throughout and the activities happening outside. The media makes a lot of effort to design the shows and to make it creative and at times some goof-ups are acceptable....
Had it not been for the quick news on Mumbai blast, the Mumbaikers wud never have made an attempt to line up at the hospital for blood donation or stand on the road distributing free biscuit packets...
If not for media making such hue and cry for cricketers, board wud not have become so strict as it is trying to become 1 and cricket lovers wud never have got the story behind a game...
If not for media, we wud have missed out some serious sting operations...
So inspite of their goof-ups we can still give them a thumbs-up for the work they have been doing even though of the fact that it is done for TRPs

- PS

3:24 AM, January 12, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...


half a trophy for the points. You wud have got the other half if you had done a good 'parting shot' consolidation. My comments will follow.

5:18 AM, January 12, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

End Game:

Here are my comments on the GD. Summary of the whole discussion and my points/ideas will follow.

1. The group fell into the negative trap that I had set with the topic. Beware. The group is expected to look at all angles and generate views/counter-views. I am sure lot of people will have positive things to say about media once you read a few of my points

2. Good to see people countering some arguments.

3. On the whole the group covered a wide number of points, if not wide number of angles

4. Couple of points like 'social conciousness thru citizen journalist' by Anya and 'viewers responsibility' by Hope and the thought of how to make the media better by Rosogolla get brownie points.
Note - Only brownie points do not help you crack GDs. So dont feel that I am looking for only such points

5. One important lacking was in the usage of good phrases. Remember good phrases helps you make your point crisp and conveys more than a few examples can do. I wud have liked to see phrases like 'better access to information', 'informed decision', 'invasion of privacy' in the discussion.

Summary of the discussion:
1. Competition/commercialization has led to quicker but sometimes wrong/exaggerated news

2. Better accessibility to information has led to greater awareness among the society

3. Sting operations have been good to the society
Counter - Media has not followed up

4. The media shud also add documentaries and become more educative rather than concentrating on the news.
--- Shud have given the example of BBC, which wud have made your case stronger since it is one of the best independent news services in the world

5. Media shud be more sensitive to privacy

6. Attempt of media to increase social conciousness by citizen journalist.
Counter - Mms clips of Mumbai blasts were in bad taste
---- I wud have liked to see a counter-counter-argument saying atleast the attempt is great :)

7. Strong/Quick stands taken by the media in cases like Mumbai blasts, Saurav case and sting operations were very good. Even though there are some drawbacks, they shud be given a thumbs up.

My points:
Since many things have been covered, I have only a few points to add. You would see that most are positive points, mostly because you have covered all the negative points and I wanted to have a positive 'parting shot'

1. 24/7 channels has led to better and faster access to information to the larger public. And democracies being the voice of people works better only when the society is well informed.
--- Bringing the angle of democracy is going a step higher in the analysis (Taking a broader look)

2. I agree that there are many problems with the 24/7 channels that the group has discussed, but 24/7 channels being a new phenomena in India, they are going thru a learning phase. Mistakes are bound to happen and they will get corrected over time with increased competition, public feedback and may be to some extent government censorship
--- This point puts all the negative points about media in one wrapper and tries to throw it out. So it is a kind of counter argument against almost all blames :)

3. Though we can blame the media for videos of Saddam execution etc, we shud also have to look deeper into ourselves. There are so many of us who have watched it on the net even when we knew it was not right. So the media is just a reflection of a society
---- This was a learning from the last GD where I had said that you shud also look at solving the issues at individual level

Parting Shot:
4. 24/7 channels have many things that leave a bad taste, but looking at the big picture, they are leading to the creation of an informed and stronger society. In spite of the little potholes, the path looks fine. So i would rather sit and figure how to correct the small issues rather than blame them for it.

Good to see a healthy discussion. I want people to comment on my comments, which i think wud add more value. I wud appreciate if people come up with strong points to disagree with me.

Keep them coming and lets take the learnings to the next GD

6:03 AM, January 12, 2007  

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