Journalism In India Is Failing Us

Every now and then I come across an article or video from a legitimate news organization that only makes me feel sad about the state of journalism in the nation. As a citizen I want my news source to inform me, raise intelligent and intellectual questions about policies, and engage decision makers to trigger good social change.

Here are 3 examples where journalist fail to this:

1. Tantrums of a citizen trump confusing tax policies in favor of clicks

News9 shared this video on Facebook with the following context:

A young woman tried to mow down an RTO official today. The shocking incident took place near Richmond Road where RTO officials were trying to seize vehicles which were not registered in Karnataka.

That’s a video of a girl who is obviously very angry – even the politest Indian you know will turn into angry monsters. That’s just part of being Indian. Cars and us – it’s a toxic relationship.

To the social media journalism intern looking to get maximum viral love, you missed the actual story here.

Indian cars in Karnataka not registered in Karnataka can be seized? What sort of ridiculousness is that? Lets revisit that, if you have a registered car from another state, the Karnataka government has decided to make your life miserable by making you deal with them.

As a reader I care about why can cops stop me from driving my car in Karnataka. I want to know what motivated the state government to come up with such rules. What’s the impact of this rule. If the rule has valid reasons, I want to know those. I want to be informed so I don’t bash the government for well thought out policies; if not, I want you to inform me.

If you really want to do your job as a journalist and have positive change in society, please look into those answers rather than an individual throwing a tantrum, which can be valid given the ridiculousness of the rule in itself.

Here’s some reading on the topic:

Non-KA cars should not be bothered for 90 days, says Centre

Car registered out of state? Breathe easy, for now

2. Delhi as India’s rape capital

Rape is heinous. It’s a real problem. There needs to be awareness raised, we guys need to be taught about respecting women, there need to be better ways of helping women and families who have suffered this inhumane and barbaric act. So how about we focus on those rather than maligning ourselves and our people so much that people outside our country stop respecting us.

An Indian student was denied admission to a German college because the student was from India and we are a nation of rapists. Wow! There was so much wrong with this. First, the pompous and shameless snobbish attitude of the professor. The professor’s presumptions aside, lets be real, we brought this upon ourselves. Our media shouting on to of their voices how Delhi is the rape capital of India. I felt terrible, I felt sad, I felt helpless. Now rewind to yesterday when i saw a TEDx video where the speaker shared the following statistic:

Almost 70% of rape cases in Delhi were false accusations.

While in 2012, the acquittal rate in rape cases was 46%, in the first eight months of 2013 (for which exact figures are available) it shot up to 75%. Sources said acquittals remain high this year as well, accounting for around 70% of the cases

So much for being the rape capital. I’mnot saying that the problem isn’t real, all I’m saying is making ourselves look bad by reporting just what makes for good sound bites – that’s shameful.

3. TimesNow’s misguided “Shame to India” priorities 

First of all, Arnab Goswami, shut the fuck up. Here’s a show format for you: a show where your guests get to talk. Game changer!

Also, we all need to chill out with respect to Cricket. Winning and losing is a part of game. You win some, you lose some. We reached the quarter finals, that’s an achievement! There’s so much more to be shameful about than us losing a game of cricket. Get your priorities right. There’s no shame in losing if we put in our best efforts.