Wednesday 16 January 2013

Is Journalism going to the dogs world over,do we need a Super Regulator

Hi readers and friends, today is my 100th Blog article Is Journalism going to the dogs world over, is making news just for profit ethical? so I wanted to research something unusual and useful to the whole world.    As I was reading news papers yesterday, a strange thing struck me.  That is the diminishing standard of journalism world over.   Once upon a time reading paper was delicious, invigorating experience. A person would prefer to read a newspaper first thing in the morning to freshen up.   Now the level of journalism world over seems to have gone down to the limits never imagined.  A nurse from India, Jacintha Saldanha committed suicide just because some idiot DJs from a radio station wanted to report the pregnancy of the Duchess of UK.  A life was lost in the News of the World scandal, just because the Media Moghul Mr.Rupert Murdoch's paper, which was accidentally the No.1 paper in UK a long time back,  allegedly tapped phone lines, to create sensational news.   So much so that Mr.Murdoch had to close down the paper, David Cameron's Communications Director, Andy Coulson had to resign from his post and resulted in over a 100 arrests in the case by the Police.   The news papers have become rag sheets resorting to yellow journalism.  I agree with the basic needs of a news paper requiring ads for revenue but resorting to poor reporting is strict taboo.  Even as a Blog writer my primary aim is to provide correct and source based information, which I have to believe in myself first. 
It is a sin in journalism to create stories just for grabbing headlines because a newspaper often forms firm opinions among people, with people resorting to a news story for giving credibility to their argument and ideas.  People world over trust the news papers implicitly.  World over, the people have often decided the fates of  governments  over news reports.  Arab Spring engulfed the entire Middle East due to vast reporting of a protest in Tahrir Square.  Due to newspaper reports and Internet, the fire of revolution quickly spread across to the neighbouring countries and there were regime changes in as many as 4 Middle East countries, whereas the fighting is still going on in Syria and Algeria.  This is the power of media!
The importance of media can be estimated by the heavy censorship China undertakes to keep its Press and Internet under control.  Imagine the heavy machinery(technology and human resources) required to keep its 134 billion citizens at bay.  It may have the most number of pro-democracy, anti-Chinese Tibetans and unrestful Uighur protesters, but it has managed to keep a iron fist control over the media, which in turn has helped to successfully quell any voices of resentment within China.  Especially after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, it has been whole 23 years without any protests.  Just imagine the scale of censorship, the PLA Government of China must be enforcing in that Country.
Who can forget the live war reporting of CNN during Gulf War in 1991 which brought cable television to the homes of the remotest places in the world and made CNN famous.    Or the term "Embedded Reporter" in the Iraq War of 2003 wouldn't exist without CNN.  Imagine the world without great quotes during the war like 'Axis of Evil', 'Shock and Awe', 'pre-emptive attack'  etc. It also created CNN clones like Al-Jazeera who are helping the people in Middle East get their view point across to western world even now. 
If we look across nations of the World, we will notice that the most impoverished and underdeveloped nations lack a good press or have heavy censorship in place depriving the citizens of basic news, which is a big hindrance in liberating them  from the shackles of illiteracy, poverty and unemployment.  Countries like Ethiopia and Sudan are prime examples of this fact.
In our own country News papers were once used to awaken people for our freedom from colonial powers by great leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Raja Ram Mohan Roy etc.    Many of India's evils have been removed or are gradually being removed by the free and efficient 4th Estate in India. 
But now even reporting in India is going to the sewers.   In the month of December, 2012, one of the India's Media houses, Zee News was in news for extorting money from India's top businessman Mr.Navin Jindal, of Jindal Power & Steel.  Mr.Jindal claimed that Zee News had demanded Rs.1.00 billion ($15.3 million) in committed ad contract with it in return for dropping the investigation in the Coal scam or "Coal Gate" as it is know in India.  This shows that even India's media is not free from the vice like grip of the blatant commercialisation of news.  Few months ago there were reports of so called "Paid News".  And now this!

Please look below at the news item which appeared in Mumbai Mirror, a sister publication of Times of India on 15.1.2013.  The report suggests that a lady pilot from Air India held up a plane just to eat a fried snack(Onion Kachori).  I find nothing wrong with this news item.  But imagine my surprise when the reporter gave a recipe for making onion kachori with the news.  Its just like reporting a killing by shootout  and placing a ad for a firearm just next to it or reporting a bomb blast and giving the procedure of making a bomb in the same story.  This is height of stupidity on part of the reporter. 
If this is the kind of news reporting that is to be shoved through the throats of the people of the world, then sorry I don't think anybody is interested to learn what the Duchess of York is doing at the cost of someones life or listening to somebody's private and personal telephone conversation  which could result in a death.  
Having a national body to regulate underhanded and stupid  news stories and the ways and means the reporters resort to, in a country is not enough,   I think the world leaders should acknowledge the fact and create some kind of world regulatory body to oversee the just and prudent reporting required in this day and age of globalisation without resorting to cheap gimmicks just to raise the share price of the media company or increase sales of the newspaper.  In this era of Internet, social messaging and real time news I think this is a must, what do you say?

That said even the newspapers today are indulging in sensationalism, read about it here.
How did you like this article, please give your comments and views to keep me going.  And by the way, the Jodhpur's onion kachori is neither famous nor so tasty enough, to keep a plane loaded with passengers waiting.
Vijay Prabhu 
Pilots kachori craving delays flight by 1 hour

Bipin Kumar Singh bipin.singh1@timesgroup.com

An Air India pilot faces suspension after she defied orders to switch her scheduled Mumbai-Jodhpur-Delhiflightfora later,directflightfromMumbai to Delhi.Her reason for doing so She wanted to fly via Jodhpur to pick upanorderforthecity'sfamousonion kachoris that she had already placed.Her refusal to swap flights ended up delaying the Mumbai-Delhi flight,which was left without a pilot,by an hour.
OnSunday,CaptainSmritiTrehan was instructed by Air India to operate the 2pm Mumbai-Delhi flight.However,she chose to ignore the order and operate her originally scheduled 12pm flight,which had a halt at Jodhpur,all for the love of kachoris.
Trehan,who is from Delhi,was stayingatahotelinMumbaiwhenshe received the instruction to switch flights.However,she reached the airportintimeforthe 12pmflightandinformed the airline's operations department that she would operate that one.
Sources in the operations departmenttoldMumbaiMirrorthatTrehan had ordered a batch of pyaz kachoris,which were to be delivered to her at Jodhpur airport.As soon as her flight landed at Jodhpur,the package was delivered to her,and Trehan took off for Delhi without delay.
Meanwhile,chaos reigned at Mumbai airport as Air India's 2pm flight was left without a pilot.
It took the airline an hour to find a replacement,and the flight eventually took off at 3 pm.
The incident was later brought to the notice of senior Air India officials,who ordered an inquiry into the matter.Sources revealed that after the inquiry was ordered,two senior officials tried to scuttle the issue.However,pressure soon mounted on Air India,and the inquiry was kept open.
Rohit Nandan,chairman and managing director of Air India,told


Jodhpur is famous for all kinds of namkeen,in particular its pyaaz kachoris.A kachori is a round,flattened ball made of flour and generally stuffed with a mixture of moong dal,gram flour and spices.Here's a recipe: Ingredients 2 cups maida;1 tbsp oil;1/2 tsp salt;oil
For the filling: 1 cup chana dal;2 medium onions (chopped); 1 tsp coriander seeds (crushed); 1 tsp saunf;a pinch of asafoetida (hing); 1 tbsp ginger (grated); 1 tsp chilli powder Method Soak chana dal in water for 5 to 6 hours or overnight.
Add 1 tsp oil and salt to the flour.Knead into a hard dough with water.
Grind chana dal to a thick,coarse paste.
Add onions and all the other masalas.Mix well.Do not add salt.
Make small balls with the dough.Hollow them out and fill in the chana dal and spices mixture.
Roll out in the shape of puris (saucer size) and deep-fry in oil on a low flame till they are brown.Serve hot.

Captain Smriti Trehan allegedly took off for Delhi only after she collected a packet of kachoris in Jodhpur on Sunday;Air India has ordered a probe into the incident

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  1. I liked your blog.Superb...no more words...

  2. I liked the receipe of pyaaz ki kachori.


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