VIP-ism in Media – who is to blame?

10-HemaMaliniMedia_UploadHema Malini hurt in an accident, screamed the headline!

Hema Malini is a Member of Parliament, a popular yesteryear actress, and an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer. So, any news about her is something that the public would like to know; so, having her name in a headline is a sure shot way to grab the eyeballs.

The news carried other details of the accident, such as where she was travelling from and to, which highway was she travelling on, what car make was she travelling in, which hospital she had been admitted to, what were the doctors saying about her condition, and what was the BJP government in Rajasthan saying; after all, she is from the same party. In short, the news piece provided complete detail about the accident and about Hema Malini condition at that point in time.

One small item in the news piece that seemed to be hidden in the whole article disturbed me. A 4-year old girl had died in the accident — reading it sent shivers down my spine. 

I could not find any mention of the girl’s death in the headline or deck or lead paragraph.

Media, which is supposed to be a watch dog, seemed to have lost its pivot; all that media centers seem to doing is to go after sensationalism to capture the audience’s attention. But what about narrating details of the event, rather than resorting to such eyeball capturing technique?

Now-a-days, media seems to be up and arms against VIP-ism, which is good, but looking at this report, it seems media itself is promoting VIP-ism. Pictures of injured Hema Malini, with blood flowing down her cheek, were doing the rounds; how she was able to get out of the car on her own and walk to the hospital was doing the rounds. But, what about the other people who were involved in the accident? One 4-year old kid had died, another 6-year old kid was injured badly, and other members have had multiple fractures?

Who is to blame for this kind of write ups doing the round and kind of coverage on television? Write ups and coverage that seems to just focus on a celebrity, rather than the event.

Is just the media to blame, or are readers/viewers also to blame?

Had the headline read, a 4-year old kid died in a road accident, would I have read the article in detail? Probably not. But with a headline, Hema Malini hurt in an accident, made me read the article and write this blog.

Media is a reflection of the society. And as a society, I think we have become insensitive; we tend to relate to only sensationalism, anything else is mundane. We are running at such a fast pace that an idea or a event in this very moment, is categorized as mundane the very next moment.

Let us pause and reflect.


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