The Indian media acts as an architect, slowly and subconsciously building an opinion in the minds of their viewers who indulge in their construction. They are all attempting to capture your most vital resource- your attention and take it hostage for money. Your attention and clicks are worth billions to them in advertising and revenue.

As the digital media industry matures, it’s becoming easier for publishers to reach the point of profitability. The media companies are dramatising news to help maximise monetisation opportunities.

The war for attention has gotten to such a point where news is being sensationalised with all sorts of insensitive and ‘click bait worthy’ headlines.

TRP

Television Rating point, a method to evaluate programmes based on the views. The views are generally on a per second basis. Higher the TRP, higher the profit they earn. Advertisements are a major factor as well. According to the FICCI-EY report, news channels currently occupy 13% share amounting to Rs 3,640 crore, in overall advertising volume. These news channels earn lakhs per day from increased viewership.

Indian TV news channels were expected to rake up to thousands of crores during the 2019 elections. If politics can rake up to thousands then how much will a case that includes a mega Bollywood star, drug fuelled celebrities and a killer girlfriend?

A Young, famous mega star who died under mysterious circumstances –

Controversy and suspense has created a storyline in the SSR case. This has been done by sensationalising the case, nothing gets more views than a woman killer and narcotics. Since the starting of the case, we all have witnessed the vilification of Rhea Chakraborty as the girlfriend. The media has taken the role of the judge and jury by pronouncing her as guilty.

Rhea has described the abuse she is facing including assault and death threats. She claims that she has been ‘unfairly targeted’. She has also been labelled as a ‘particular type of woman’ who is disliked by Sushant’s family. In India, family is of utmost importance. Therefore, if his family dislikes Rhea then the whole of the country must dislike her as well. Is there a gender aspect to this? What would have happened if a man was in her place?

She has been slut shamed, accused of murdering him, drugging him and stealing his money. Outspoken women on social media often face demonisation. Even Rhea’s family’s reputation has been tarnished, they have been labelled as drug peddlers and murderers. It has reached a point where the family has contemplated suicide. Is it moral to push someone to such a point where they consider killing themselves?

News channels are supposed to release unbiased news instead of entrenched mysogieny, conspiracy and an unsure narrative. The press council of India has sent an advisory to TV channels on the coverage of the Sushant Singh Rajput case. It seeks to restrain the megalomaniacal coverage of the film star by the media.

Lack of Ethics

What’s worse is that the actors legacy is the investigation of his death. The lack of journalistic ethics or even human ethics that the media has portrayed is beyond belief with pictures of his dead body and intrusion of privacy. The media has used every opportunity to gain profit off its gullible viewers.

Today, Rhea is the only name that big news houses cover instead of bigger issues.

The failure of the Modi government in handling the COVId -19 pandemic, the standoff with China in Ladakh, the economy and the migrant labour crisis are all issues that needed distraction. The people of India need to be distracted from the woes of the Indian government and whats more perfect than a case like this.

So here’s News that the media should actually cover –

•India crosses Brazil to become country with 2nd highest Covid cases. •2973 Covid cases in 24 hrs: Delhi breaks 70-day record for single-day spike. •Army jawan killed, 2 others injured in firing by Pak in Naugam sector. •Rajnath Singh holds bilateral talks with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan