Tag: Media

News and Statistics

There are people who criticize media for its coverage of events. They say media ignores real issues like poverty, price rise, illiteracy and unemployment and gives importance to trivia. Farmer suicides are ignored. Death of Dev Anand and retirement of Rahul Dravid get prominence.

Those critics do not know what news is. One person dying is news. Thousand persons dying is statistics. When farmers die every day it is not news. Terrorist strikes in Kashmir are not news. When Anna Hazare fasts it is news. Irom Sharmila fasting is not news.

People like Dev Anand do not die every day. Dev Anand was in the film industry for 65 years. His films have entertained a large section of people.

Cricketers like Rahul Dravid do not retire every day. He played Test cricket for 16 years. He had the record of highest Test catches. He was second in the number of Test runs.

The job of the media is to report. It is not the job of the media to do social service. However media should not glorify crime and criminals. It should not publish or air interviews of criminals.

Media reports did not stop starvation deaths. Same is the case with malnutrition, child marriages in some parts of India and other problems. Media can make some difference but cannot work wonders.

Journalists and exaggerations

Journalists are expected to report facts without exaggerations. They do not have the liberty to exaggerate. Poets and writers of fiction have the liberty to exaggerate.

“De Villiers was quick to get to the ball, running Dravid out at the striker’s end by a mile.” (Aditya Iyer – Gambhir, Tendulkar keep India in hunt – The Indian Express – 4/1/2011.)

“While television replays showed that the ball would’ve jumped the stumps by a mile, umpire Asad Rauf couldn’t resort to such technological luxuries, dismissing de Villiers for a patient 33.” (Aditya Iyer – Durban Legend – The Indian Express – 30/12/2010.)

A mile has eight furlongs. A furlong has 220 yards. A yard has three feet. A foot has 12 inches. Cricket pitch is of 22 yards. Rahul Dravid was away from the striker’s end by some inches or feet but not by a mile. In A. B. de Villiers’ case the ball could have jumped the stumps by some inches but not by a mile.

Once there was a murder in Malad. A report mentioned the body was cut into 300 pieces. Did the reporter count the pieces?

At the end of December 2010 many flights in USA were cancelled. NDTV 24 X 7 reported ”Tons of flights cancelled.” Not dozens. Not hundreds. Since when flights are measured in tons?

Indian Express repetitions

I come across repetitions in The Indian Express.

The article “The hormone of laddishness” that appeared under Science and Technology section on 3/5/2010 was a repetition of the article “The CSI effect” that had appeared on 30/4/2010.

The article “The long march – The yuan and global imbalances” with a picture of Chinese currency that appeared on 1/7/2010 was a repetition of the article “Mecca vs Las Vegas” about a Saudi tower with a graph of heights of towers that had appeared on 30/6/2010.

The news item “No relief for ketchup colonel” on page 6 on 9/7/2010 was repeated on page 7 of the same day.

Such repetitions have taken place before. What has the editor of The Indian Express to say about them?

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