Did you see the news on TV channels last week that two-thirds of the world's animal population has been destroyed in the last fifty years and human acts are responsible for this heinous crime? The disappearance of animals on Earth at this speed is a big crisis for all humanity, but where is it concerned about it on news channels? Did you find out from a news channel that by 2050, nearly 120 million people in the world would have to leave their homes and migrate to another place due to the growing impact of climate change? The report points out that drinkable clean water has decreased by 60 percent in the last 50 years on earth, and the demand for grains will increase by 50 percent by 2050.
You can say that all these news are going to be frightened, and why did the news channel serve news that scare or disappoint your audience? But that's also not true. There are many hopeful news reports in the field of environment that appear in regional to national news, but they find an exception in news channels. For example, a species of rare orchid was found in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district after 124 years. This news was all over the paper and websites, but sadly it hardly found a place in a news channel.
What happened to mainstream media:
The matter is not limited to the environment. The same thing can be said from the Right to Information Act to the law like MGNREGA. These two laws gave the common man the power to ask questions and the right to food. In the last few years, while RTI has made several explosive disclosures on key issues ranging from electoral bonds to digital surveys, MGNREGA became a source of alternative employment when people went to jobs after the corona lockdown, but "mainstream news TV" remained deaf, barring a few exceptions on such reports. This fact needs to be explored in view of the growing influence of social media and fake news. The recently released documentary "Social Dilemma" on Netflix is in great discussion these days. Executives who have worked in key positions across social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Google, Instagram, and YouTube, point out that companies' main objective is to capture and retain people's attention in a dense capitalist society. These companies, who have dominated the Internet, have as much information about people as never before in human history. And no mechanism can find fake news and do something to control it.
Impact of Social media on media:
Social Dilemma tells us that the algorithms being set up by these social websites to attract people's attention are not objective. It is being fabricated under "the definition of success." The same post-2017 shows us that the strategy in this fight to draw people's attention to making profits is tilted to misinformation on the Internet. Knowing the truth is like climbing a stony hill, while misinformation is heart-pleasing and chatty. Fake news makes more money than misinformation ads and is "boring" on the true Internet. Another important thing is that in a politically deeply divided society all over the world, people want to hear what they trust, even if it is beyond the facts. Tv channels, which are powerful channels of communication with social media, have understood the game. For an example of climate change, the person who has come to know about climate change on Google gets the first result in a country that climate change is a major threat to humanity, so the person searching elsewhere realizes that climate change is just a bogeyman. That means the internet is being shuffled in such a way that whatever you want, they get the same results.
But tv news can hide the ignoring of important information behind this mathematics of social media. "Social media and broadcast media (TV news channels) have neither a direct commercial link nor a profound relationship. The relationship is very superficial, but it is also true that social media's power has made a huge impact on the content of TV channels. "The news that first hit the traditional media started running on social media, but now the news breaks in social media and starts running on news TV, even if it's a rumor. Why? Because that's what it sells. The only commercial interest in that is that such a thing goes viral very fast.
So, is it the necessity of news channels to stay away from the news reports like RTI, environment, climate change? News is the face of tv debate and media. It is not that news channels do not like journalistic journalism or were never concerned about these channels' news. The journalism of TV channels once pressured the newspapers to forge themselves afresh and re-design them to their homepage. In front of all the newspapers, these news channels once created a crisis of existence. These days, news channels have moved from one end to the other. It has become a mission for them to create a sensation and appease the ruling powers, whether at the center or in the states.
The channel has come out of the news and has come out of official news and has resorted to reports that violence, sensation, drugs, and conspiracy are the spice to avoid their responsibility. There was a time when magazines with crime stories sold a lot, still selling a lot. Now news channels are running on the same model. The whole game is of ratings. There are viewers of news like environment, climate change, and RTI, but it is a minimal market and can never bring your rating to number one or two. Therefore news channels do not bother about the environment and so on because it is not a niche market.
In the recent past, not only in India, reality shows are more watched in all countries of the world, but TV channels in India have made themselves a complete reality show.
Image credit: theguardian