Thursday, 30 November 2017

Indian Media: Then.... Now... and Later

Sensationalism has become synonymous with the Indian Media, especially Television. In 2008 during the coverage of 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, Barkha Dutt, India’s known journalist, received flak from several sections of the society for her overzealous reporting style. Critics blamed her for ignoring the ethics of journalism by making the coverage dramatic. Similarly, during the 2015 Nepal earthquake Indian Media was criticized for its insensitive coverage of the incident. #GoHomeIndianMedia was ‘trending’ then to express people’s outrage against the Indian media.

Shift from Voice of the People to Voice of the Governance

Media is one of the four pillars of a vibrant democracy and India can be proud to own freedom of Press. TV news channels evolved from a single Doordarshan, which telecasted a five minute news bulletin in 1965, to a total number of 397 news and current affairs channels in 2014, most of which have 24/7 news broadcast. However, the presence of these many players has obviously led to cut- throat competition. Higher TRP ensured sustainability which eventually increased the company’s profitability. This has shifted the focus to sensationalism rather than credibility of the news. Journalists take advantage of India’s love for sentiments and emotions to spread propaganda.

In the beginning, news channels were considered as a credible source of ground reporting that provided ‘information’ to people. The inferences and judgement of the news were left to the conscience of the viewers. However, that is not the case now. Today’s journalists and anchors usually go beyond the scope of just ‘reporting’ the news by giving their personal verdict of the matter, giving the viewers very little space to think on their own. Anchors of debates act more like judges rather than mere mediators. The inclination of media houses towards certain political parties and business houses have given rise to biased-journalism. They have been used as tools to influence and tweak people’s thoughts. Political parties and corporate houses use them to increase their vote-bank and market value respectively.

Social Media in Journalism

Internet especially the social media has re-defined Journalism. More and more people depend on social media for breaking news. They serve as a platform to read about different perspectives. Also, the prevalence of blogging, Facebook and Twitter has given rise to citizen journalism wherein even a common man has an option to report, criticize and comment on topics. This has made the traditional media more accountable about what they broadcast. Any hypocrisy, prejudice or bias shown in their reporting immediately gets mocked and shamed on the Social Media. Example: the Indian cricket fans used the #ShameOnTimesNow hashtag to slam Times Now channel for sensationalizing Team India’s defeat at the previous World-Cup.

Journalism is what maintains democracy. It’s the force for progressive social change.
Evolution is inevitable in any industry, with media being no exception. However, the purpose of evolution should not bypass a collective cause. India has many serious issues that require attention, like poverty, corruption, illiteracy etc. Jessica Lal Murder case is an example of how the media can play an influential role towards social causes. Power of media together with the support of citizens can be a threat to anyone who brings hindrance to the country’s growth.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Copywriter vs. Copy Editor

Copywriters craft content for everything from News, Articles, billboards and bumper stickers to speeches and catalogs, while copy editors make sure these contents are as good as they can get. Copy editors need to be great copy writers themselves. They must know what makes for compelling reading by being able to see what works and what does not.


What Copywriters Do

Copywriters create written content for news agencies, publications, business clients, advertisers and marketers. Copywriters identify and define the content their clients want to get across and turn them into compelling pieces of writing designed to educate, inform, entertain and motivate. Copywriters must have solid research skills and the ability to communicate and converse with many types of people. They also must have the ability to translate complex or technical concepts into language their target audience demands.

What Copy Editors Do

Copy editors check written pieces for errors and suggest ways to improve the work. Copy editors find and fix grammatical and spelling mistakes, make sure language is consistent, and ensure that the content is appropriate for the readership. They also look for what is missing in a piece of writing, so a copy editor must be more than a grammarian. He/She must be analytical and able to suggest questions for the writer to ask in the rewrite.

Copywriters at Work

Some copywriters work for News or Media houses, publications or agencies, and many copywriters today work freelance from home also, thanks to the Internet. A bachelor's degree, typically in English/Hindi journalism or communications, is required for most staff positions in copywriting, and in such a competitive field, even most freelancers have a degree with a writing or technical background.

Copy Editors at Work

Some copy editors work at Media Houses, publications or in offices for marketing and advertising agencies, but like copywriters, many copy editors also work on their own. Editors must keep projects to strict production deadlines and often work on several projects at once, so the work can be exhausting and repetitive. Generally, editors have bachelor's degrees and a deep knowledge of style manuals

So if your dream is one of these you are on a right track in terms of print media.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Be True

Transparency teaches you acceptance of yourself. Not everyone is courageous to be open and clear with themselves, but perhaps you are?

You may never know unless you give it a try. The people who learn to be true to themselves set high principles in life. Being ambitious is a much valued quality, yet it comes to self correction. Some achievements in life are left wanting only because self correction was not done when much required. It was neglected and an excuse was always ready, owing to a belief that it's okay to do what everyone else does. 

Clarity in life is necessary, but clarity in the heart is healthy for one's own self. Mistakes always make us feel guilty and in order to move on to new opportunities to one has to be honest enough. The person who has a clear and pure heart, will definitely have a better quality performance through their lives, in events big and small, because they know how to present a positive attitude.

Be true to yourself. If today you accept your flaws or your mistakes, and everyone has flaws and mistakes, you will take a step towards improving your persona and will become a much better human being. It will be a step in self development. 

When one makes a mistake and it come out in from of everyone, a feeling of shame overtakes us. Still, it is on us to make of the situation what we will. Whether you latch onto the humiliation and make it the centre of your universe, or you learn acceptance off yourself and of the mistake, and move forward as a responsible person. 

After acceptance of a fault, of which I myself have many, you realise that you are much stronger than earlier. Acceptance gives us the courage to be self independent in order to face people who wrong you. With acceptance, self independence grows with time as you work on yourself. Just as you sow a seed, and nurture a plant until it starts bearing fruits.  

Remember that we all are growing as humans, and acceptance gives us the power we require to grow. And that power comes from within, from the fact that you are at peace with yourself and are true to who you are. 

The power to accept oneself, is perhaps the greatest power we have. It is, the greatest power I know.