The Irresponsible Media


Do you remember this photo of 1993? This photo was taken in Sudan. A vulture was waiting for the death of that famine-stricken toddler. The photo was titled “The Vulture and the Little Girl” and the photographer was Kevin Carter from South Africa, who won Pulitzer Prize for this feature photography at the age of 33.

Someone asked him,
“What happened to that girl in the end?”
Carter replied,
” I don’t know. There were so many vultures there,”
To this the man said,
“I tell you, there were two vultures that day, one in the photo and the other behind the camera.”

Carter became upset and eventually committed suicide. Carter would have been alive and a renowned and widely acclaimed photographer today had he taken the starving baby to the United Mission’s feeding centre just a half mile away, or had he tried to reach the hungry toddler.

Today, 28 years later, the vultures with cameras have again descended. Kevin Carter had self-esteem, but these vultures don’t, and are busy churning out breaking news with impunity.

What do our print and electronic media want to achieve by showing again and again the burning pyres, biers, hospitals filled with patients, and distraught families?

Would it change the plight of those who suffer? What do you want to prove by spreading panic? Efforts being made for scoring some brownie points in this crisis are a pathetic waste, my friends.

We all know that there is a pandemic and the situation is out of control. The government machineries are doing their bits. We may not be satisfied with their performance, but what are you doing as a person or a media representative? Can’t you utilise your time, energy and resources to bring life for those who struggle for it?

Can’t you for example find out and share the details where the oxygen cylinders and hospital beds are available? Can’t you create and share a database of plasma donors and ambulance providers?

This is not the time for TRP and sensation, you media people are used to. So much fear is being created that even healthy persons are falling ill. If you can’t boost their morale, don’t unnerve them at least.



–Kaushal Kishore

36 Comments

  1. Dear Kaushal, you have written again beyond an outstanding post. The story of the photographer who forgot that he was a human being is one that I write when dehumanisation is the subject.
    Your advice to the media and anyone who can go out and help is absolutely the right one.
    And I know that there are people who are doing just that.

    Thank you.

    Joanna

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are right, Joanna, there are people who are doing their bits at individual level, and in fact, this world looks forward to those few for inspiration. Thank you for sharing your valuable feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Totally agree… everyone is scared..there is so much unrest. Children are also suffering silently.. anxiousness is creeping in our thoughts-what if I am the next? Media needs to stop the job of spreading fear. People are committing suicide due to fear of contracting Covid…or after getting the report as positive. Plz stop…I am feeling so overwhelmed now a days….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have stopped watching TV news beyond headlines. I’m confined to my home like others. You are right, fear mongering has to stop. But take it easy, Pallavi, at personal level. Keep yourself busy in creative activities. Stay happy and blessed 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is so true! Everyone in news and media are trying only to get some sensational news even if it’s fake. There is no responsibility or accountability on the subject or the issues going on. If they can just try to reach out!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The journalists are more well equipped to extend help, if they wish so. Even in normal road accidents, I have seen people making videos instead of taking the injured person to nearby hospital. At times I feel that humanity has been lost somewhere. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your reflections 🙏

      Like

    1. SSR’s case is just one example. Take farmer’s agitation and Rajdeep’s misreporting. They have no moral and malign the fourth pillar of democracy. Thank you Lakshya for sharing your views.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Another well thought-out and well written post, my friend. The irresponsibility and heartlessness of corporatized media outlets is astonishing. It is clear that their “job” is not to inform or report relevant and important news. Their job is to simply make money and “report” what their owners dictate. Honest and genuine journalists with hearts exist, but they are indeed few and far between. I believe it’s up to us to end this tragic farce of what is currently called “news.” We need to change our mindset from being a “consumer” to being informed. Being informed takes a lot more work; however, with time and effort the sensationalism and fear-mongering will have to cease when enough of us demand otherwise. Thank you again for such a wonderfully written piece on a very important topic. 🙏💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rachel for your beautiful reflections. You have supplemented what I had left. The fact is that reporters are paid employees and puppets in the hands of their owners. You must have noticed that TV news takes a break often after announcing that a sensational news will come after break. The only motive is to increase TRP and ad revenue. This needs to be changed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. And I believe it will change. More people are seeing through the facades designed to keep us complacent, ill-informed, and divided. The more of us who see, the more of us who will demand the needed changes to our broken systems. 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I served under a great President. President Clinton send me and my unit to Africa three times for water, food and medicine mission. We worked 24-7 to try to help. I learn my life wasn’t hard. When you see starvation. Break your heart. We had to dig mass graves for the poor people. Mainly children, women and old people. If we spend 25% of war budget on sickness and hunger. We could feed the world. Hard to understand this world. USA toss away enough daily to feed the people in need. Powerful words and thoughts shared my friend.

    Like

    1. That’s really great, John. I appreciate your hard work and sentiments too. My heart goes out to those deprived and famine-stricken people. We are still not taking enough care of health aspects. We are not learning any lesson even now. Covid may also be a bio weapon to wreak havoc on the people and economy. It’s really pathetic to see that people at the helm are looking for disasters instead of welfare at large. Thank you for reading and sharing your valuable feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did little my friend. We need to awake the voices of the peace seekers, the healers. Old rock and roll song once said. The words of peace cannot be heard because of screams of war cry.

        Liked by 1 person

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