When I was young, I hated reading the newspaper. I thought it to be such a drag. I could barely hold it properly – the pages were just too large. It was difficult to turn each page and by the time I folded it, the newspaper looked like a ball of crushed paper – useless for anyone else to read thereafter. Moreover, there seemed to be so much to read every day. It always amazed me as to how there was so much happening all over the world, and that too on a daily basis.
As I grew older, the TV invaded our households and with the passage of time, there are now a plethora of news channels to choose from. Each one promises to showcase only the truth, anchored as they are by well-known television personalities. And then, of course, you have ‘breaking news’ coming in every minute on every other channel.
Me being me, I want to know what’s happening in the world. So, I have to filter important snippets through the long, loud, tilted and tedious debates happening across the day. These debates are, more often than not, contests to judge who can shout and shriek the loudest.
Media news is frilled, hyped, and more often than not, purchased
There is no slot left on TV news channels that gives me ‘only the news.’ I have little inkling about what to believe, discount or junk altogether in order to decipher what exactly are the goings on in my country and beyond. The news we are forced to watch is laced with rhetoric and satire. While the ‘profitable’ incidents hog the limelight, others expected to gain low TRPs even fail to make it to our ears.
For the past two years, we have been bombarded with news on COVID-19 – ranging from the daily counts of positivity, recovery and death. It was difficult to feel positive with all the negativity and fear psychosis being portrayed. There was a brief lull, but with Omicron striking with a vengeance, the numbers game has begun all over again.
Besides, you have the usual snippets – from fuel price increases, IPL, molestation, lynching, or chief ministers being sworn in or out. And of course, the big daddy of all – elections. Seriously, listening to the same high TRP rating news topics, day in and day out, has become monotonous.
Let’s go back to news the old fashioned way
Given this, it’s no small wonder that I find the older generation still waiting for that modest roll of newspaper every morning. At least they can read, muse or form an opinion about what interests them. And they can look forward to doing so without their thoughts being influenced by a handful of self-proclaimed jurists, trumpeting panelists and/or ambitious journalists strangulating the very essence of news broadcasts.
Speaking broadly, please give me ‘news’ – of what is taking place in the north, east, west, and south just like in the days gone by. In all probability, along with me, my news thirsty nation also wants to know more.