02 August 2005

Novelty news

Our demand for novelty and news seems to be at a height now. So much is our boredom that the newspapers have taken it upon themselves to entertain us… at no extra cost.

Take, for instance, the coverage of the recent rains and flooding in Mumbai. There was loss of life, property, damage and a lack of essential services… not to mention inconvenience to hundreds and thousands of people. In spite of that, some newspapers chose to present the lives of several public figures in the city on their pages – commenting on whether they received copies of their favourite newspapers in the morning, or whether they’ve had a bath in the last two days because of a water shortage in their homes.

Is this news relevant? Is this news of any consequence to the population at large – many of whom suffered during the rains? Can this be the state of our favourite newspapers – the ones we’ve grown up with? Wake up! There are some who feel this news is as important as their morning cup of tea. They enjoy the novelty of it – much more than they enjoy flooded city streets or stranded traffic or death. In fact, there is a portion of the population which gobbles up this news with alarming appetite. And, this population is on the increase.

I guess this kind of novelty news offers much more excitement than reality does. Sometimes, I even feel that the quantity of this novelty news is not enough for this population. So, the search for news is on… and the media are there, prowling around for novel ways to entertain us. Soon, to be well-informed by a newspaper or a television channel may be a difficult proposition for some of us.

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