Two-way discussion : News & Media
- Do you think the information on the Internet believable or not?
Well, I think the information available on the internet is not always believable. Usually, all the information on the internet are provided free of cost and they are useful for the common users. But sometimes there are some false or twisted information has also been found which are of no use at all and even if the internet users believe them, they will invite disaster in their life. For instance, once I saw a speech on internet quoting Abraham Lincoln saying, “Everything posted on the internet should not be believed as true”. How true he was! He was right actually. He was right indeed in the sense that during his presidency in the USA, there was no internet and even the invention of the computer was not done I think. So, how he could deliver such statements? That is the question of the day. The answer is very simple. In fact, Abraham Lincoln did not say such speeches and the statements have been made for confusing people and make fun only. Most of such information is posted on the internet to fool people or to gain some illegal interests. Sometimes people see different attractive information on the internet and work accordingly by believing them as true which leads them to a financial or some other types of damages. There are some online miscreants who post such deceptive and fake information to mislead the common internet users. Such miscreants aim to gain their own interest and the internet users should be careful of the issue.
- What is the most effective way of getting news?
Yes, there are several ways to get news around you. The first and most important source of getting news is the mass media and television channels. But I prefer the television channels more than the newspapers for several reasons. Firstly, the events sometimes are telecasted live on the channels while the newspapers publish the issues on the next day. Besides, many of the newspapers provide fabricated news and work as an agent for the illegal authorities (and they also take benefits in return from the illegal authorities for the publicising). As a result, the newspapers readers get twisted information. The good people are made bad while the miscreants are altered from their actual position and a positive image is created for them. But in television channels, there are no such issues and the sometimes the events are live telecast. So, when one represents the misinformation the others present there to impede the attempts. Moreover, being the age of technology, the emergence of online news websites is another important source for getting the latest updates. They instantly provide the news and event happening around us and the facts and information are reliable as well. So, in the current days, the demand for published newspapers is slightly decreased. However, people now rely on all forms of media to have the latest news and updates.
- How do reporters gather information?
Well, this is a very good question. The reporters have to struggle a lot to collect information from different issues. They need to move from place to places to collect the information and also has to justify the news merit. Besides, they also have to justify the exact information as if the data they receive is misleading or not related to the issue they are dealing with, they cannot publish the news. If they publish such reports which are misleading or incomplete, the newspaper or the news agency will start losing its credibility. Consequently, the newspaper or agency will lose its business as well. When an incident happens, usually the reporters rush to the spots and try to collect information on the issue. They ask questions to the people related to the incidents and events and thus collect information. Sometimes they need to cross-check the information if those are viable or not. After the justification of the information in several stages, they write the reports and publish on their respective media. During the information collection, they are to undergo different ‘situations’ and most of the time they are to take risks of different levels. You know, sometimes they are even to sacrifice their lives during the information collection process. The scenarios turn worst in the war-torn areas and they travel in such areas risking their lives. But in the cities and urban areas, information collection is not that much difficult. Whatever the collection process is, they actually try to get the right thing and expose the issue before the public.
- What do you think of the importance of privacy?
Uhh! Privacy is one of the topmost important things in one’s life. If there were no privacy, the situations would have turned awkward for us. There are some activities that we cannot perform before everyone and in those cases we need privacy. We cannot do everything in public. It looks indecent in the civil society. If we perform the things we ought to do in private, people will have a negative impact on their mind about us. Sometimes, they may also think that we do not have the personality or do not care for others and so. As a result, we may not be able to communicate effectively with them later or in our needs. In a word, we have to lose our respect in the society. For instance, bathing is the work to be done in a bathroom, not in a public place. But if you show no respect to the standard rules of bathing (inside of a bathroom), you would be neglected and may also turn into a laughing stock to all. You have to keep in mind that privacy is the thing that is a kind of cover for you to protect you from the evil things and evil doers. Consider yourself as a woman and you are bathing outside of the bathroom, then people will capture the moments in their cell phone cameras which will be embarrassing indeed for you. But you do want that happen. So, you have to follow the standards of privacy.
- How do journalists entertain their customers?
The journalists try to entertain the readers of their newspapers with different news, reports or articles. Most of the time they try to collect the exclusive issues so that the readers or customers could get entertained and the newspaper or the television could have a good business as well. The customers are tending to go through the exclusive reports and it has been found that the reports of crime and entertainment are the most preferred by the customers. So, the journalists try to collect the information over the matters which are preferable to the readers. They travel to different places to collect the exact information and sometimes they spend more times in preparing the reports. The actual time frame is not set for such reports but when they are published or aired in the media, they create a sense of great satisfaction among the readers.
- What role do media play in people’s life?
Ummm! Media plays a great role in the life of people. In fact, the people are highly influenced by the media role. Media tries to expose different issues to the people and they accept the issues and become aware of them. For instance, media is publicising over a murder and people are getting aware of that. They come to know about the murder and consequently become aware of the killing and the killer(s). Now if they see or meet the killer(s) accidentally, either they will try to protect themselves from the killer or they will help the law enforcers in nabbing the killer. It raises a sense of awareness among the common people about the right and wrong. They learn to do the right things for their betterment. Besides, different advertisements are also aired or published in the media which also plays a great role in people’s life. If I ask you to name a car, I can bet your reply will match with some sort of advertisements that you experienced earlier over car selling. The advertisements influence our minds subconsciously. Media exposes the advertisements to us. Further, we are informed about different happenings through the media. So, the importance of media in our life cannot be ignored. Rather media is influencing our lives from many aspects gradually.
- How do people in your country gather information?
Actually, there are no direct sources of information in India to gather information for the common people except reading the newspaper and watching television. The newspaper has access almost everywhere inside the country and they serve with the reliable news. Besides, the satellite television channels also provide news and information of great interest. Sometimes, the young people are seen using the internet to gain information from different websites and they also rely on the online news agencies for information. But the trend is not that much appreciated by the adult people as they are in fact not attracted to the internet. The use of social networking site like twitter, facebook etc. also play a great role in gathering information and in those websites, the information spreads rapidly than imagination.
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of different media?
There is nothing in the world without demerits and in line with the theory; the media also has some demerits too. Media at times provides fabricated information to create misconception in the society and thus increases the chances of anarchy. But not all the media should be blamed for the twisting information. Some of the media play the role of protector of the unscrupulous people and to save them from troubles, they publicise the modified news. As a direct result, the commoners get the wrong information and the principles of distributing free and fair information are hampered. But considering the benefits, the demerits are few. Media has a wide number of benefits. It always remains alert to spread news and information over different issues and help us become aware as well.
- Do you think it necessary to control the news coverage?
Umm, great question. I think sometimes it is necessary to control the news coverage and it should be done in the sensational issues. People usually turn eager to learn about the sensational issues like crime or entertainment. So, in that case, if the information is not the exact one, it would lead the audience into a wrong way. Thereby, in those cases, the reports should be monitored properly.
- What kind of news do you think should be controlled?
Usually, crime reports like killings etc. are highly preferred by the audience and thus those reports should be controlled in a proper way. Sometimes due to misrepresentation of the information, the audience might turn agitated and it happens mostly in the communal issues. Communal riots can be fueled by the reports or some other cases a section of the society could also be made violent over any issues. Sometimes there is some news about the film industry and media spreads rumours which are not true in fact. Those issues should also be brought under strict monitoring.
- Compare the people’s attitude to media between now and the past 20 years?
Earlier, people used to be less aware of the media but now the scenario has changed. I guess, 20 years ago people had less freedom to get information from different media. Newspapers, radio and TV were their main source of information. People were restricted to the local media and getting international media coverage was a dream.
The scenario is quite different these days. The Internet has opened the opportunity for people to get any news from any country, except in few countries. The freedom of speech is no longer a dream and people with their smartphone, satellite connection, and computers can read any news or get any information they like. They are actively participating in sharing a news and forming opinion online which was not possible in the past. However, fabricated news on social media and less reliable online newspapers is a concerning issue. Though people these days have many options, they have to judge an information before believing it.
- Should we trust the journalists? Why/why not?
Well, this is a difficult question to answer. Generally, they work to inform us and work really hard to make us informed. However, not all journalists are trustworthy. It is wise not to trust every news source and journalist as sometimes they report and publish baseless and politically motivated news.
- What do you think a good journalist should be like?
Uhh… to me the idea of a good journalist is to be neutral while representing news and other information. In fact, a newspaper is considered as the mirror of the society and when there is twisted news in the media, the common people may get misguided. An honest journalist always maintains integrity, professional ethics and work for the betterment of the society.