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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Aaj Tak redefining yellow journalism

Last night, going back to home from work was some experience. As usual I took a bus (usually the 221 or 236) from the place where I work near Anand Vihar to Welcome metro station. After getting down my colleague and co-passenger till Rajiv Chowk found that the mobs agitating in Seelampur managed to shut down the Delhi Metro between Shastri Park to Shahadra. (Some victory of sorts for the rioters against the government?). We took another bus (because the paise-wise, rupee-foolish autowallahs were charging ridiculously exorbitant fares owing to the tense situation that prevailed in that region) to Kashmere Gate from where we took the underground. But before that, we went to the coffee-cum-soup joint as we do six days a week near the Media Mart kiosk that has a huge plasma TV on display with Aaj Tak – channel of its sponsors – on. (Oh! It is always Aaj Tak there).

Sipping hot soup and watching the images actually made both of us rather laugh. Why? Two reasons.

  1. The major one was on India’s victory over the West Indies in a low scoring match. There was a huge caption saying – WI ke viruddh Bharat ka aitihasik vijay (historic win by India against the West Indies) and ’83 ki yaadein tazaa (comparing it to India’s victory over West Indies in the 1983 Prudential World Cup Final win)!! This victory equal to that? You decide. For me, it was a meaningless victory against a mediocre team by a dull team in a senseless tournament in some cricket-forsaken country.
  2. The next big news was on the riots at various parts of Delhi following the enforcement of the Supreme Court’s order sealing illegal commercial establishments and constructions. It was repeatedly showing a police officer taking aim with his handgun and shooting at hundred (maybe thousands) of rioters who were pelting stones at them. Just imagine fuelling public anger like that.

Both the above items as shown in Aaj Tak was nothing short of yellow journalism, making stories out of non-issues and nothing whatsoever by simply sensationalizing the events shamelessly.

A few days back Punya Prasoon Vajpayee stopped Joginder Singh, the ex-CBI boss just as he was about to reveal something interesting (about the UAE government’s attitude that he experienced first hand trailing a terrorist) abruptly for a commercial break. Then he never came back to the subject at all (though he promised that he would). It felt as if Aaj Tak robbed me of the information and right/pleasure of knowing something. Then a few days back when Indian passengers were de-boarded from a Northwest flight in Amsterdam in Holland after turning the plane back over Germany, this Vajpayee guy was 'educating' his audience that Amsterdam was in Germany!

This is shameful journalism with gallons of yellow paint thrown in. This is 10/10 for Aaj Tak.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Sultana said...

Aaj Tak, stop ridiculous comparisons like this.

6:02 AM  
Blogger rajeev said...

Hi,

Nice blog!

Why don’t you consider writing about some of the new “India 2.0” sites that are creating a little buzz as well?

Eg: www.ilaaka.com

www.onyomo.com

Thanks!

Rajeev

2:17 AM  

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