In the age of social networking, Media houses have turned to Twitter and other such sites to fill their channel for breaking news slot.
‘I am not signing the famous star’s new movie – tweets a famous actress’, says one article; another headline screams that ‘an actress is pregnant – actor friend wishes her through twitter’; meanwhile an actress’ statement about taking to yoga in her twitter page becomes hot news for discussion in the media.
Not always can media quote these stars for their daily digest & not always are the tweets self-explanatory. When little information can be milked from a particular tweet the writers puts on his creative cap, only to use sentences from the actor’s previous tweets to frame a plausible article. If the tweet-lad didn’t provide substantial backup for the information, the media turns the plate by publishing an article like ‘twitter is buzzing with news about an actress’ secretive marriage – is it mere speculation?’ Instances like these more or less sums up to the media being publicists for these actors – unpaid. Is this what we meant when we wished for unpaid news? More than being free publicity campaign the articles has come down to the level of being nothing more than a round up of famous tweets.
Agreed gossips & interesting information capture the imagination of the audience, drawing their attention, which an editorial seldom does. We do understand that media need to be in the business to provide good news & this kind of news gives them a lot of TRP. But in an attempt to reach out to a larger audience, they have made us realize that finding/ making news is child’s play. Follow the tweeter profile of the right people in any industry and you will be the first to know even before the media breaks the news. These acts of laziness to produce an original article, wipes out the charm that a news corporation is affiliated with. Not only that, they invariable project an image that they don’t have any ownership or responsibility towards what they publish. If the tweet-lad had made a mistake in his tweet he would eventually tweet about it, which becomes a news in itself. Inadvertently, speculation has become the news article of today moving away from its analytical aspect. How many times has any media house in a neutral mind-set tried to educate its viewers when the people have been misled?
Today, News Corporation of India is marred by greater & deeper issues apart from tweet mania. In this time of crisis, the fourth corner stone of this democracy needs more than a breather to save itself. But for now it can do better without drumming to the tunes of twitter.