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Thursday, January 10, 2008

You, I & Bad Journalism

From a fine piece by a Samanth Subramanian for The New Republic
The truth, of course, is that in India, and in every other large nation in the world, there can be found many shades of gray between the black of one statement and the white of its exact opposite. The grays aren't hard to find, but spotting them might involve the terrific discomfort of occasionally taking off those designer sunglasses and squinting, for a while, into the sun.
Every day a reporter talks rapidly on a very pressing issue as if it might change the economic/political/social landscape of the country immediately. Once the fake storm dies, there is no follow-up. As the writer points out, there are pieces daily that flood our news papers and magazines that fail to offer a shred of insight. But blaming the media doesn't take us anywhere. They are just treading a time-tested model: like the movies, give them something hot for now. When the news cools down, jump on to the next hot thing. Journalism in India, like in most other places has become a act of throwing bone to the dog. Is the dog really hungry? Is it selective in its intake? Does it avoid junk food?

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