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Monday, December 08, 2008 

Commercialization of Terror

Recently, there has been a lot of talk around the politicization of terror. But the same people who seem to find the politicization of terror an abominable sin, have been indulging in the commercialization of terror.

Let us look at the Indian media. First it ensured minute by minute coverage of the terror attacks, while putting its own journalists in the line of fire. While these media personnel were busy condemning politicians for visiting the terror sites, they forgot that journalists themselves were distracting security agencies from their jobs. A part of the security forces had to be deployed to ensure that overzealous journalists don’t get themselves killed. But each of them egged their correspondents on. And why not, it’s all about TRPs. If one channel doesn’t, someone else will.
After all, such attacks don’t take place everyday.

And the live footage was easily revealing every commando movement, every action of the NSG. Thus the terrorists could easily have stayed forewarned, and prepare for what was coming at them. Makes you seriously doubt, whose side was the media on?

I remember 9/11 coverage by the American media. Many channels had refused to make money out of the tragedy, with a self imposed moratorium of 2 days on commercial advertisements. Only public service ads were displayed during breaks. No such moratoriums by the Indian media. Every penny that could be made was to be made.

To add to this, the soundbyte hungry media didn’t even have any pity on the rescued hostages. Every rescued survivor had a mike thrust in his face, for a description of his ordeal. The ubiquitous “How do you feel” (or “Aap kaisa mehsoos kar rahe hain”) was thrown at every individual willing to speak up. Those who wouldn’t respond were literally chased by the media. Even the great Barkha Dutt – the defining femme fatale of Indian journalism, was party to it, chasing down traumatized foreigners to the rescue vehicles.

Despite such profound examples of sheer stupidity/ greed, what disgusted me the most about the media is that it kept patting itself on the back on completion of the commando operation. There were so many channels congratulating themselves for displaying exclusive footage. Others were happy that they brought to us uninterrupted coverage of the death and gore of the terror attacks. Still others celebrated their journalists, who risked their lives. (else their jobs might have been at risk)

And to top it all, the Indian media wants to take up the leadership in bringing about security, and punishing the failed political leadership. Every Newspaper/ news channel worth its salt has created a marketing gimmick to connect itself with public anger. Times group has its “Mumbai Cares” and “Guts before glory” programs as CRM tools, while DNA has its “Eyes and Ears of Mumbai”. Aaj Tak has its “Aatank ke Khilaaf Ailan-e-Jung”. The list is endless. Each has their premium SMS service to which you can send a message; so that they can now monetize your anger.

It is high time we start seeing through the gimmicks of the media, through the fake concern for the Indian people. Just like any other business, profits are their sole objective even if it means exploiting our emotions. For long enough, the media has hijacked the voice of the nation, its time to reclaim our voice from them.

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Media shall do what it is meant to. yes, they are making money out of the dastardly acts. It's not really a perfect situation u know. But what ever is perfect??

the point is, people have come together. people now know how millions other are feeling and what they are ready to do. It encourages people to take initiatives.

O in its own poor way, it contributes...does it not??

keep the flow on!!:)

These guys are taking it further, your femme fatale's news channel has a weekend special which it has produced with an event-management company. Whats next? merchandising?

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