Today you got saved from a Tsunami my friend. Yes even those of you who don’t have anything to do with the oceans at all because the Tsunami I am talking about is breaking news Tsunami after Aishwarya Rai’s delivery to a baby girl.
On a typical day in news, news channels would have shown you nonsense graphics, overtly imaginative animations and what not to stretch this ‘breaking news’ all day long but today was a different day- a better one. If reports are anything to go by, Broadcast Editors Association issued a ten-point guideline governing the coverage by electronic media of Aishwarya’s delivery. Thanks to this directive that excessive coverage by news channels did not happen this time and breaking news was not the order of the day.
We should indeed thanks Markandeya Katju for this! Katju, chief of Press Council of India and a former judge of Supreme Court came under attacks recently over his not so pleasant remarks on Indian media. Of the issues he pointed out, attention by media to ‘frivolous issues’ was one and this is where I see pregnancy of Aishwarya fitting in. While Katju was criticized for his remarks, this directive is being seen as an after-effect of it. It is almost to the level of insanity that some sections of media cover private lives of filmstars. This obsession culminates into sort of agenda setting due to which film stars and their private lives get a lion’s share of attention at the cost of much important analyses and coverage, news channels are ideally supposed to do. We all can recall how media inspite of being officially uninvited at the Abhishek-Aishwarya marriage, managed to get hold of hazy images and even resorted to funny computer graphics to reconstruct the entire scene. Infact every bit of information related to the first family of Bollywood (Aish’s first karva-chauth, baby shower!) was amplified and telecasted till the point no one was left unknown to it! This is indeed a good step in the right direction and we just hope our media remains relevant enough by adapting such measures to be called the ‘fourth estate’.