How does running news for 24 hours affect the news they produce? Read below to find the answers!
Questioning what is being shown is something we all need to learn now because the magic bullet theory has started finding its relevance in the present time. We have started seeing media organizations giving space to news (well don’t know if we should call it that) which are not newsworthy. Each day, we see some misleading, controversial, and unessential items finding space in the 24-hour cycle of any big to a small news media organization. We see, people, breaking the news, bringing TRPs and eyeballs is what has become the agenda because there is ‘n’ number of channels, running news all day every day. And, it is probably the idea of filling all the 24 hours with something that can pick the notice of the audience is what is making them fall in the trap of serving unobjective and loose stories.
What is 24 hours news format
The 24-hour news format is the idea of serving news at every minute of the day. Gone were the days when there used to be 2 -3 channels (or before that, we had DD) which used to have fixed slots for the news hours. They used to tell all the important news from the world around in those news hours. With the improvisation in technology and the advent of cable TV, many channels started emerging as ‘News Channels’. This very idea had its roots with the fact that this will pace up the news production. The thought that now people will not have to wait for the bulletin hour to actually know what is happening in the world was the major idea behind it. It could simply help foster stories to find space and a more continuous and constant updating system.
Now, how this system backfires is that there are a lot of channels that are giving similar news. Whatever is trending or happening in the world is finding space in news and hence, most of the channels come with the same kind of content which is obviously not good. This leads to competition and the need for a variety of content. And hence we get the idea of Breaking News.
Breaking news to bring numbers and leading to falling in the trap of factual incorrectness
The concept of breaking news is simple. All organizations have their exclusive stories and whoever breaks the story firsts gets the eyeballs from making unique content. Now, ‘UNIQUENESS’ is the keyword. Whatever is unique wins, irrespective of the fact that it is true or not.
Ravish Kumar, in an interview to Kunal Kamra, said that “It is now only that the idea of making news has come. Earlier, we didn’t use to do that. The job of a journalist is to tell the news, explain the news, not to make news”. This very argument says a lot obviously. The fact that the media organizations have to give their audience, news, and their investors, numbers, makes the do some unnewsworthy stories and shows. To point out some, the news shows giving updates of the daily soaps or sensational cultural and spiritual shows that might lead you to the stairs of heaven. Everything is sensational and definitely not newsworthy.
The same story being relayed every other day
Now, coming to the second issue with the format is that a particular story is done, redone, and redone again. Since there is no real crunch of space, any story which is bringing eyeballs is likely to get repeated for the sake of the channel. Consider the very recent example of the SSR Controversy, it has been around three months since the demise of the actor but the broadcast media has obsessively covered it for perhaps not for the sake of calling out the real issue but to get numbers from the airtime.
Deviates from the real issue and adds to propaganda
Now, the major implication of this is that it removes focus from the real issues and further leads to propaganda and media trials. If the media shows only a particular thing, tells about only a few issues, then ultimately, the audience will find that issue to be a real and important issue. According to agenda-setting theory, if a particular content is shown repetitively, the masses start to perceive it as the only real and true thing. So, if media sys the Shushant Singh Rajput didn’t commit suicide, or if it airs Kangana’s speech each day every day, the larger section starts to perceive that as the true issue of the nation.
So, to conclude, to deal with all of this, the masses have to behave like intelligent beings. They need to check and recheck the validity of what the media is showing. There are chances that the media is right, but there are chances that they are only spicing up the issue. So, be an active viewer and choose your media wisely. If you don’t watch it, they will come to a point when they will stop producing nonsensical content.
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