Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Cameraperson: Athar Rather
(The Mumbai Police on Thursday, 8 October, said that it has busted a "TRP scam", whereby Television Rating Points (TRPs) were being manipulated. The police named Republic TV and two other Marathi channels who were allegedly involved in the practice. In light of this development, The Quint is republishing this story, originally published on 22 September.)
Yeh Jo India Hai Na… Yahan news ki ABCD ab badal chuki hai… So here is the A to Z of news, as we know it today
rnab-ification of News
A – is for arrogance and abuse, not Arnab. A is for absurd theatre, not Arnab. A is for anti-national, that I am, but not Arnab. A is for accountability that applies to others, but not Arnab. A is for assault, on the nerves, on democracy, on truth. A is for the Arnab-ification of news.
B – is for banana Republic. I’m not referring to a particular news channel, I’m talking about what actually becomes of a nation, if its institutions collapse – one of them being the media – it becomes a banana Republic.
C – is for coronavirus, but, what’s that? Just another 1000 dead yesterday and the day before and the day before… Soon, it will be 1 lakh of our citizens dead! Yet large sections of the media simply ignore these horrific statistics, by choice – to make sure no one asks those awkward questions which our government will struggle to answer.
Instead, in the middle of COVID, here how media is practising social distancing – gheraoing Rhea Chakraborty or on the flight that brought Kangana Ranaut back to Mumbai. Yes, C is for coronavirus, but many in the media, don’t care!
D – is for drugs! Mujhe drugs do... Mujhe drugs do!! In other words, D is for drama! D also used to stand for dissent – that’s essential in a true democracy, but which is now forbidden, not allowed. D should also stand for democracy, but then, if dissent takes a beating, democracy suffers too.
E – is for exclusive news digging out for your readers and viewers the news that truly matters. But now, an exclusive is reduced to getting the postman! Or the delivery boy! And, E is also for the economy, but then, what’s that?
F – is for fake news. Lies deliberately dressed up as fact, lies intentionally dressed up as news – pedalled not just by individuals but systematically and carefully manufactured by some media organizations. F..A..K..E… is the new vulgar four-letter word in our lives, that’s not being beeped out.
And another 4-letter word with F is fact. But again, some journalists today, may ask you, 'fact, what’s that'?
G – is for gaslighting – the ugly practice of telling survivors, of telling the vulnerable and the marginalised, that what they suffer, is their fault! From Muslims to migrant workers to rape survivors – 'tumhare saath jo hua ya ho raha hai… uske zimmedar tum ho...sarkar nahi, police nahi, patriarchy nahi!!' Watch the news – it happens on air every day.
Of course, G is also for GDP. But then, what’s that?
H – is for hate Speech. We read hate on Twitter, we see it on WhatsApp & Facebook videos, we see it on Prime Time TV.
- Crass abuse
- threats of rape and violence
- the gross practice of sending obscene photos, from sick individuals to MLAs and MPs and news anchors
Hate Speech is what:
- gets you noticed
- gets you invited to TV channel yelling matches.
While the govt, the police, the courts, mostly, just watch.
H is also for ha***khor – a word that’s now permitted on air and of course, slaps, punches and freestyle wrestling.
H is also for hashtag and hashtag journalism – get your army of trolls and bots to get a hashtag to trend, and that’s becomes a substitute for real news:
I – is for idiot box – a term first used to describe television in the 1950s. For some reason, the definition is back in use today, with this slogan ‘by the idiots, for the idiots’. Feeling offended…? Well, so am I.
J – is for journalism but again, what’s that? In fact now, J seems more for jihad chart:
- UPSC Jihad
- Corona Jihad
- Bollywood Jihad
- Media Jihad
and many more.
J could also be for joblessness but again, what’s that?
angana-fication of News
K – is for the Kangana-fication of news. Now, what’s that? Well, Kangana-fication is very similar to the:
- Arnab-ification of news
- Troll-ification of news
- Fake-news-ification of news
- Hate-speech-ification of news
- Lynch-mob-ification of the News.
L – is for lynch mob. We’ve seen them increasingly on the streets and now, they’re quite commonly seen in TV studios too.
edia Trial, With Zero Accountiblity
M – is for media trial from – Ram Mandir to riots to murder and suicide cases. Media ki adalat mein sab decide hota hai… with governments, political parties, police, and public – all readily taking sides, fully enjoying the spectacle – as people are abused, their reputations shredded, and judgments passed, on a daily basis, with zero accountability.
oise, Not News
N – is for news:
But then, many may ask, 'what’s that?'
N is also for nautanki and noise because that is what a lot of news has now become.
O – is for objectivity but then, again, what’s that?
P – is for Prime Time – the 9 pm news, when we all rub our hands in expectation… and say… let the #ScreamFest begin!
Q – is for questions – the real questions, the tough questions, the questions that we have stopped asking, the questions we are now discouraged from asking, those questions which, if you ask them, you become, a desh-drohi!
eed Ki Haddi
R – is for reporter. R is also for reed ki haddi or spine. But the fact is, today, if you are a reporter with a spine and a conscience – you may no longer be in demand. R is also for Rajya Sabha – and a seat in theRajya Sabha that some news anchors and news editors may be eyeing. Yes, they are the role models today!
S – is for supari journalism – pehle ‘supari killers’ hote the – assassins for hire. Today, it's about character assassination, on air. From Arushi Talwar to Rhea Chakraborty, supari journalism has grown bigger and more lethal over the years.
RP (Trigger Ridicule Plot)
T – used to be for trust. Trust that must exist between the media and its audience. But today, T stands only for TRP – Television Rating Points. And there's nothing wrong in wanting an audience, building an audience. But can news organizations abandon the basics of news itself to get those TRPs? Surely not!
T is also for trolling – what the news anchors spark off, the troll armies amplify, with zero consequences. T is also for ‘tukde-tukde gang’. Coined by some TV news anchors – for those they say want to break up ‘Akhand Bharat’. But ironically, ‘tukde tukde gang’ applies more to those same TV anchors – for doing such a great job of dividing us as a nation. By the way, T is also, the truth. But then again, what’s that?
U – is for UAPA – a great way to shut people up:
- shut their dissenting voices
- physically shut them up.. in jail!
V – is also for viral, It could be
Boss kuch bhi karo... viral ho jana chahiye, bassss !!
And of course, V is also for vikas. But again, what’s that?
W – is for witch-hunt, which is what a LOT of news has become. W is also for Whatsapp news factory – your number one source of news today, especially if the difference between fake news and news doesn’t matter too much to you...
W is also for warning that the worst is yet to come.
X – is for Xanax – the drug that’s actually needed to calm down some of our hyper news anchors
Y – is for yellow journalism – for that, scroll up to 'supari journalism'.
Z – is for Zeher or poison! Mujhse zeher lo, zeher lo, zeher lo… But you know, Yeh Jo India Hai Nah… isse ab aur zeher ki zaroorat nahi hai…