Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Media - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good:

The manner in which the media has covered the ongoing strike between the pilots and the Jet Airways management is praise worthy. Pilots are some of the most envied people in the world, for the job they have and the amount of money they make. And all that for just using the 'auto pilot' button during the entire flight! Coming back to the strike, the pilots had decided to form a union, which the management opposed. Taking a strong stand on this issue, the management even sacked the two pilots who started the union. 40 days have passed since and no sort of agreement has been reached between the warring parties. So in protest, the pilots have gone on a strike. Oops! Not a strike technically. It is just that 432 of them happened to fall ill on the very same day. And so scores of flights are canceled and poor passengers harried. Opportunistic Air India has increased its flights and even has a stand-by crew to fly to any place where Jet flights are canceled. Naresh Goyal, Chairman, Jet, is absolutely adamant that he won't let the union be formed. But Goyalji, this is India. We are a democracy. People can and will form unions to safeguard their interests. And you can do nothing about it. And just in case you forgot, let me remind you, that it is this very same democracy that gave you 'open skies' and allowed you to fly on any route you wished to, thus killing our national carrier.

The Bad:

The media coverage of the death of YS Rajasekhara Reddy or YSR, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister had to be seen to be believed. They kept showed photos of him addressing rallies, starting new schemes, visiting farmers while all the time having some sad Hindi song playing in the background. Such was the praise lavished on him that it would have evoked sympathy even from the most stone hearted of people. It is no wonder then that around 70 people either killed themselves or died of a heart attack after watching the news. Agreed that the people in South India are rather fanatical when it comes to movie stars or politicians. And one need not have watched Quick Gun Murugun to know that. But 70 is just too big a number. As for me, I never knew much about YSR. But the fact that a BJP led Karnataka government declared two days of public mourning tells me that YSR is as good as they get these days.

The Ugly:

When swine flu first arrived in India with the death of an NRI, the media was in a frenzy. At least five pages of print were dedicated each day to this deadly virus. Sneezing in public had become an unpardonable crime and elicited stares, glares and dirty looks. Sharma Aunty from my building who normally wore jeans while going shopping or to the market, now strictly wears salwar kameez. Only so that the dupatta doubles up as a mask. People stopped going to public places and even the Sunday church bore a deserted look. Nothing much has changed as far as swine flu is concerned. At least three people still die everyday. But now the media has juicier stuff to cover. And swine flu is no longer in vogue. And so now sneezing in public is no longer an offence and life has returned to normalcy.


Anonymous said...

i agree with you about the swine flu fiasco...its was embarrassing to say the least...n all will be well with the jet employees i assume since its already been 4 days and the pilots haven't budged

but u know YSR did win d last elections by overwhelming majority...i agree we tend to glorify the dead (case in pt micheal jackson) but the ppl were so distraught because he really did do a lot for them

Shawn said...

Yeah we do glorify the dead. And I don't really have an issue with that. But news channels playing 'Kal ho na Ho' in the background while screening pictures of him is pushing it a bit too far. Don't you think so?

By the way, I think Michael Jackson is the best entertainer the modern world has seen by a long, long way.It is just that I personally am not his biggest fan.

Post Script: Thanks for commenting. I am pretty certain I know who you are :)