Media and its polarization Agenda

Published: Wednesday, Sep 25,2013, 11:00 IST
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social media, paid media

The Gödel’s two theorems in arithmetic logic provides for an interesting insight which relates more to its applicability with the Indian main stream media than the static reasoning of “incompleteness” which was originally put forward by him in 1931. Simply put it states that any effective theory capable of expressing axioms can never be both “consistent” and “complete” and that there are further infinitely many statements in the language of the theory that share the property of being true but non provable in the system.

The media of this country, with minor exceptions has simply chosen to create its own frame work of axioms which they make believe as true continuously brow beating it by virtue of the power of surrogate ethos without any concern for the half lies - half truth factors degrading to the ebb low of the biased media repertoire without knowing that it’s never consistent and shall never be complete.

The case in point is more reflective of the “agenda” which the media, specially the electronic media is setting for the country in run up to the general elections for 2014. The central theme is being rested on its only “natural number” of “polarization” in politics. The media could not have had a more opportune moment then the very recent announcement of the largest opposition party picking up its Prime Ministerial nominee providing more fodder to galvanize efforts for a string of series pushing an alleged populist debate down the throats of this country without any scant regard for the cleavage which was gaping wider and wider to the foundations of the societal fabric and rightful political discourse which perhaps could have been pregnant with a possibility.

The recent Muzaffarpur riots provided another set of diatribes raising the stink evidentially suppressing the news which led to the riots and the under prevailing conditions which were brewing in the back ground. Rather than presenting a view which perhaps should have assuaged the temperaments and the messages with sublimity covering the basics of the reporting, the panels were called in immediately on “Prime Time” with a judicious mix of spokesperson who are known for a set ideological verbatim regardless of whether seen addressing the “chowks” in cities or in impeccable glass face studios to present and pick the sides on the already set “agenda” by these media houses and each side loved to play to get the “face time” playing to the individual constituency.  Prominent speakers who every limitedly are called to participate when rise up to even question the intent of these sought of debates within the arguments, are either cut short or brushed aside or a direct question is being forwarded to another glibber who needs to add on his own dash of the chucking matching the anchors..!

This is a serious issue, since this is shaping up a mind set of set of communities and people, clearly vitiating an able discourse leaving many things unbalanced, never mind even claimed under the subterfuge of democratic principles and constitutional rights of freedom of speech which is becoming shriller day by day and by any virtue of constitutional qualification is clearly “unrestrained”.

Any TRP table for the month across for these channels draws a sinister picture of what adds more to the revenues of the channels and its economic dynamism of profits. A very Senior journalist, much known & respected for his genre of ethics recently reported in some IV part series on how the largest media house in the country has butchered the tradition of media, its reporting, ethos’s and has migrated long ago from the moorings and traditions of which few, including like him of the tribe are left to single handedly defend.  It would not need a sharp analytical mind to discern that “Agenda’s” are being decided in advance, supplemented with features and content around them, brought to debates with identified panellists and regardless of the outcomes of the debates are served with “editorial” takes as consensus of the panellists and ensured that controversial engagements are equally carried on the next.

The agenda’s are picked up from topics which are invariably around and have developed a pattern; Prominent political coverage which are unceasingly now restricted to top 2~3 parties, personalities within them, fissures which are being fought and the upcoming youth leaderships (of parentage), Crime reports – Purely around Sexual assault, clashes between communities, drugs & rave parties and student unrest, Sports – Prominent around only Cricket and IPL’s and its crony establishments and finally Cinema – Again restricted around gossips, fashion and revenue collection and most prominent and hilariously even “news editions “of TV sops are being presented in the entertainment sections.

The developmental reports are merely added as “features” once a week and better yet are “paid features” with corporate MNC giants who have nothing but proven to act with immunity and themselves carry a dubious and at times criminal accord and record of all aspects as fiduciaries, environmental degradation, human rights, governance policies and fundamental rights violations. It’s the commercialization of this media; the entrenchment of the corporate “ownerships” of these establishments and FII’s share holdings which are part of the strategic profiteering, which are the basic guided principle. Balanced opinions, unbiased reporting of facts and ethics are only for award functions, seminars and holier than thou champagne and cocktail circuits.

It is this reporting, dubbed under “main stream media” patronage which in actuality is only limited to few cities and studio’s and hence mid wife’s options to pick the “big idea” for a “big fight” which must be served “tonight” to the nation syndrome which has sacrificed true stories of courage, innovation, societal positivity’s, achievement of individuals in sports or entrepreneurship, addressal of genuine public grievances & concerns and broader governance and polity issues which perhaps truly and indeed reflect the spirit of vibrant democratic foundation.

This is doubtless creating an alternative with proliferation in social media though now with a disturbing trend of consolidation of popular ideologies on the independent forum as well which perhaps equally shall turn tides in an event of a weak moment. Fortunately, it shall be a while until this happens since the intent and intensity will take a match to this insanity only in future and perhaps covering the wider sets of rules might be checked with equal ferocity and sane voices of arguments.

It’s simply put, a shame, that the” Self styled, Main stream media”, has snatched responsibility which actually lies within the political discourse, however its more than pity that the political parties have themselves seen this is an opportunity to let loose this menace in name of democratic freedom, gaining the “popularity context” for themselves as medium of “mass personality and propaganda” for individualistic and polity gain using it either sides.

The incompleteness is complete, since none is actually concerned with this nexus of political parties and media houses deriving their own “Radia theorems”, yet being debated with hush - ness which even belittles the deafness of silence believing the framework to be true and to be propagated.

It’s but the “original number”, the citizen who knows the logic would not hold for long specially for the run up when he takes the walk to the nearest ballot to exercise his “axiom” to seek, find the truth and to set up an agenda for himself and the nation in turn. Media or no Media.

Author is an Activist and Student of International Law. The views expressed by the author are his own and are not representative of his organization. He can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter www.twitter.com/abhjoshi

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