Monday, May 11, 2015

Nepali Media Too Needs Some Guidance

As the post-earthquake days are passing by, lives getting back to usual routines, TV programs back to usual schedules, Facebook back to usual posts, there is an usual trends I begin noticing on Internet -- news on tragic stories of Earthquake victims.

"Young bride became widow just in 3 days"
"A 5-year-old kid lost his both parents"
"Man turned insomniac after losing his wife and kids"

This is Nepali media and bloggers.  They often do this.  Whether post road-accident or motorvehicle accident or natural disaster like landslides, floods or earthquake, next thing we all see is, tragic stories of victims with sensationalised headline.   To me, it's just insane.

In my entire life, I have never read any as such news and stories on any western media, because such news and stories have no relevance from journalism point of view.  Every news is published with either of two motives or both -- Inform and/or influence.  What could be the motive of publishing tragic stories of victims?  If husband dies, obviously wife becomes widow.  If kids die, obviously mom breaksdown.  This is not something needed to be informed nor such news has anything to influence us but to generate "bichara" feelings for those unfortunate human.

Actually, there is a motive.  It's about "selling news."

Being in social media itself, I have pretty much figured out what Nepalese audience likes and what they don't.  Imagine, to what extent these media houses in business for decades know about our taste and expectations.

We Nepalese people are actually very emotional people, soft and fragile and generous sympathiser.  It's in our culture, it's our values.  Maybe why, "sarangi dai" always sings songs on sad news, maybe why musicians always compose songs on betray and breakups.  We buy sad news, others' tragedy interests us, not because it excites us but because it relates us, connects us.  Story behind "Gaijatra" is another point to validate my claim.  That is what we are, very emotional and sentimental people.  Media knows it very well.  That is where exactly they strike us.

Yes, media companies are established for profit.  They too need good visitors and subscribers to sustain in their business and thus they will do anything to sustain, will go to any level to get our notice, and will write in exact way that we would be interested to read.  Nevertheless, it does not mean being irresponsible, insensitive, unethical, unprofessional.  When I see they selling tragic stories of victims for sake of click baits, I feel like they being all of it, just like Hindi media (Aaj Tak and craps).

Or, maybe not.  Maybe, they are just unknowingly following the wrong steps, just like "Sarangi Dai."

Whatsoever, this has to stop.  Tragedy of someone should not be a story or news to publish for the sake of filling pages or getting click baits.

Unless the motive of such stories is to seek aid for the victims, this is just wrong, very very morally wrong.  To me, it is just an insanity and a stupidity.

May there be a correction, before #golearnjournalismnepalimedia top trends the Twitter.

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