“…journalism is an estate of the realm, a power above all powers in the land; and its mission is mighty, even so are its responsibilities great.” –The Michigan University Magazine Volume II
Journalism and media earned its popularity through mass consciousness and the irony of seeing them toy with the emotions of the masses and making a massacre of the ‘humane aspects of journalism’ estranges them from the common people. While the glaring incapacity and disarray of the state of West Bengal emerges from under the veneer of communist idealism, the fake promises and dry tears of political leaders aggravated by the ludicrous decorum of wearing a gleeful smile when you are relaying a disastrous and heart wrenching news, comes across as a reflection of retrograde culture. To illuminate what exactly I’m driving at is the news anchor of Star Anando whose almost happy disposition was not pleasing to the eyes. There was no self restraint or somber demeanour that would assay that even though not personally affected it did unnerve her like it did the rest of the masses. Contrasted to her very strange body language was the daring act of people like Pervez whose humanity and humility gave life to so many.
Media were competing in this hour to be the first to communicate the news and not the first to help the people out from the worst nightmare. They watched people desperately jump to their deaths and began penning headlines. They reached there as spectators and not messiahs. But you cannot blame them for futuristic journalism like the rest of the futuristic stuff that is developing is emotionless, mechanical, monetized and at it a farce. Journalists are interviewing distraught family members, insensible mob smiling at the camera and waving at the viewers, reporters daring to ask how do you feel, are you anxious, did you’ll know, when did you’ll get to know- insensitive and blatantly insensitive. Neither sense nor sensibility is part of journalism now.
I was an audience in front of the idiot box waiting to catch a glimpse of the action. Though unaware of what actually happened I have frequented the spot often and from my understanding of the geography of the place a few trucks, lorries could have been brought in. There is a furnishing shop just opposite to the Music World from where drapes and curtain could be accumulated so that the people could jump on a soft cushion. But even when Rome was burning there were some saving their own businesses. Or is it that common sense is really uncommon in today’s world. Panic struck and capturing the fall to death on your mobile cameras may fetch you a penny for a day but rob you of peaceful sleep, when you toss on your bed with guilt. A friend of mine whose own bereavement in the past has taught her the philosophy of life rightly said, that it is the ‘helplessness’ we feel when faced with the cruel fact of mortality that creates a void and an unbearable pain.
I know that it will be dawn again and life will return to normal and reporters and journalists will begin sniffing for a new trail of sensational news. Whatever is breaking news for them is breaking indeed! For a commoner like me media melodrama is as intolerable as politics. We are in a poor state literally so, if each of us doesn’t rise to the occasion, if our conscience is enjoying their prolonged slumber then you can simply walk back with a cup of stimulant and watch the IPL or the hip gyrating obscene Bollywood songs.