Have you ever wondered how eerily different our news experiences can be, even though we're consuming the same piece of news? The other day, I was flipping through TV channels, and stumbled upon something curious. I witnessed the magic of "news presentation". A single news item, presented through the eyes of different Indian media houses, read like completely different magazines! "Ah, the beauty of diversity!" I said out loud, sufficiently scaring Max, my Dalmatian who had been dozing by my side.
Here's the thing about Indian media houses; they love a good story. Remember the tale of Rama and Sita? Of how Hanuman brings the good news back, filling everyone's hearts with joy? There's a pinch of that theatrics in every Indian newscast. Each channel is a Hanuman by itself, delivering news with their own colour, much to Max and my delight. My ridiculously trustworthy companion Max and I, we love our news masala-filled and dunked in theatrics. We love how these media houses weave their narratives and perspectives around a plain fact, giving it a life of its own, each life a stark contrast to the other.
Consider politics, India's favourite chew toy. It's like a 24/7 reality show for us. Media houses know this and cater their news accordingly. If you've been living on Mars for the past decade, allow me to paint the picture: On one end, you have channels staunchly siding with one political party, the screen brutally painted saffron or hand-in-hand green. On the opposite side, a rival channel calls out these allegiances faster than I can hand out treats to Max. Polarization? Maybe. Brilliant marketing? Absolutely!
Then there's crime reporting. Trust me when I say this, no crime novel can hold a candle to the riveting drama Indian news channels can create. There are dramatized reenactments, intense voice-overs, and even song overlays that leave us clinging to our seats. The suspect becomes an anti-hero, the victim –a martyr, and the whole incident –a saga. Suddenly Max and I are not just passive news consumers, we're part of the narrative, the drama, the investigation- Sherlock Holmes and Watson, if you will.
Social issues are another fascinating realm. It's like entering a colourful carousel, except every horse is a different colour. One channel paints it in grim shades, exploring the ugliest truths and the harshest realities. The other focuses on the heroes, the change agents, casting a ray of hope. And then, there are those which make it about us, the people, urging for a call to action. Love it or hate it; you can't ignore the subtleties, the undercurrents, the contradictions. Max surely doesn't. His ears perk up at the sound of the chuckling anchor; his tail wags at the rousing narratives.
For a minute, let’s pivot to the world of glitz and glamour, our beloved Bollywood! Here, media houses don an entirely new character. One portrays our stars with an air of untouchable glamour, relishing in their grandeur. Another shows the same star sweating it out at the gym or eating a vada pav on the streets. It's like watching an onion being peeled, layer by layer, each layer interesting, yet strikingly different. For Max and me, it's like Christmas morning!
One key ingredient in this smorgasbord of news reporting is the generous helping of opinions. News is no longer just reported; it's interpreted, dissected, and served on a platter. Every nitty-gritty detail is broken down and analyzed till it loses its original form, morphing into something we couldn't have fathomed. Just like how Max would find a hidden treat in his toy, these media houses find hidden layers in the most mundane news.
In the grand scheme of things, one might question if such an extensive palette of portrayals hold any value. If you ask Max and me, we'll say it's a classic case of mind over matter. We relish in this kaleidoscope of perspectives while keeping our judgement scales in balance. Ultimately, we choose how we let these narratives influence us. So, whether you buy into these diverse portrayals or say bye depends on you. After all, it’s this diversity that makes Indian media houses the bustling bazaars of news they are. Happy news shopping, folks!