News & Media are not a surprise entrants in the entertainment year, for obvious reason. I bet that not even Bejaan Daruwala or Sunita Menon would have been able to predict say 10 years before, about this meteoric rise of 'news' in entertainment segment. A lot of credit for this goes to 'India TV' which brought-in the concept of news entertainment. This is quite similar on the lines of WWE (erstwhile WWF) which calls itself Sports Entertainment; now that's again pretty disputed as many people, that includes one of my flatmate, can't understand as how WWE can possibly be included in Sports category. Well, I don't want to get into this side as in this blogpost, 'entertainment' word is more important and it doesn't matter if it comes from sports or pseudo-sports or news as long as it has some value proposition to offer.
India TV was no doubt, a pioneer in the news entertainment but there is no denial to the fact that almost every news channel from NDTV to Aaj Tak to Star News to CNN-IBN is more than eager to follow the herd. In my opinion, it's directly dependent on the audience's taste. Today if the people want the news-channels to broadcast this, then they are catering to their demands. One or two channels like "Headlines Today" or "VOI" tried to create a niche for them but didn't succeed to that extent despite being really quick on news-coverage side.
Besides, if we look at the performance of news-channels then I can safely said that they mightn't have proven high on the expectations of intellectual society but they have delivered perfectly on the parameters they set for themselves. They were able to sensationalize "Ayushi Murder Case" to that extent that today somebody may get double thoughts while identifying Mrs. Pratibha Patil but won't stumble even once to identify Late Ms. Ayushi. This is the power of media and they have (mis)utilized to full extent this year.
However, there were some disappointing moments as well, like in the case of 26/11 coverage which once again raised a big debate on the issue of media-censorship. I think that media should be free of censorship barring some rated-r categories of coverage; but they should be matured enough to decide the limit which they won't breach in any circumstances, even not for TRPs. Again, this would gradually come with the viewers' wants and requirements.
Well, I've been trying real hard since the beginning of this post, to focus on just the entertainment part of news but I've not been able to resist the temptation to move into the other things. You may attribute it to my old-fashioned mentality of looking at news channels at the much-talked-about fourth pillar but can't help it.
P.S. – Tomorrow would be the last post of this series, do remember 1. to read the post 2. wish me "happy birthday to you" ;-)