WHAT DOES THESE FIVE STATE ELECTIONS TELL US

The predictions of the five state elections resulted very obvious as majority of news media, ABP, Times, Zee, NDTV, IBN7-CNN etc, already came with the survey polls that BJP will be winning the next term. Madhya Pradesh (MP), Rajasthan and Chattisgarh are BJP’s main striking areas and after the vote counting on 8th December it was proved again. Rajasthan and MP were a thumping victory for BJP, defeating congress by a mile but Chattisgarh was a close counter, the tension went right down the wire and finally BJP came out victorious by bagging 49 out of 90 votes, gaining majority and forming government.

This certainly raises concern over the Congress’s performance, I would say, worst performance. The strategies at the center have certainly affected the state elections. Delhi is by far the best example. Whatever happened to the 15 year old Sheila government was the result of common man’s agitation against the government in power, UPA-2, which so far has been unable to fulfill the promises it made.

Now, the scenario of Delhi was considered as the semis before the 2014 lok sabha election. There is another wing of experts who support the other theory, according to them; the elections were in states which already has the high influence of BJP compared to the rest of the states. However nobody denies the fact that the result of these five states have proved that UPA-2 is at big loss prior to the 2014 lok sabha polls.

The center’s role on various issues like, 2G, Coal-gate, CWG (common wealth games), Robert Vadra property, has put them under the scanner of all- the opposition, the media and the citizens. The media has played its part by making us aware on such issues. So, what does all this tells us about the 2014 elections? There is certainly a wave of majority of people who are not content with the UPA-2 government. On the contrary, the UPA-2 government always seems t be complacent with its decisions.

This certainly is injurious thinking for the congress government. They don’t have much time left though, but if they can pull out something in these few months time hopefully they would be able to save their government. Orelse, it seems pretty clear that what happened to the four (MP, Rajasthan, Delhi & Chattisgarh) out of the five states, the rest will be followed soon on the national level.

5 states election
States were elections were held during December 2013.

Would really like positive feedback and suggestion or if you have any queries go ahead and put it in the comment box, I would try to revert as soon as possible. Just don’t make any comments supporting any political party; we are here to understand the mechanics of politics and media and not to crib about the good or the bad.

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MAMO – NAMO

What is going to happen when the two giants of the opposite parties, Mr. Prime Minister & probably future Mr. Prime Minister, will meet and might be sharing the same stage. Will ‘we’ see any hand shakes? Any smiles? Any chit-chat? Or on the contrary they both will ignore each other, which for the media will certainly be nothing much.

So what if they say hi to each other and discuss about the lunch or dinner ahead, ‘we’ want stories to run, to fill the space for tonight’s debate. Will that be possible? Of course yes, because there are many who will derive their own conclusions and will say how that is going to impact the 2014 general elections.

 

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As audience, we have to come out of all this sensationalism and watch the news as NEWS. It is a content. A meeting doesn’t matters but what comes out of that as decision or conclusion matters. Will that affect my pocket? My decision making? My mindset? My future plans? Well, this should be the points of highlight. And, this can go endless.

Start watching content wisely and choose your subject smartly!

TELANGANA REPORTING – MEDIA PRIORITIES

Indians welcomed the news of forming its 29th state, Telangana, on 30th July 2013. The ruling party congress waved the green flag. The agitation to form Telangana was on extreme rise from 2009 and finally the order to make it a new state was approved. The whole move by congress was politically motivated, considering the 2014 elections. Well, to know the results, congress will have to wait for the next year elections. My concern, as always, is regarding the media coverage given to it. Well, I won’t be going into the politics of it in detail. I will just try to bring out the way it was reported by two different setups of broadcast media – Al Jazeera & Indian media.

The contrast between these two videos will make us understand the approach towards a single story by the media houses. I came across a video on youtube of Al Jazeera reporting on the Telangana issue. I was a little surprised to see the way the reporting was done. It was a feature story, where a citizen of the newly named state, Telanaga, was interviewed by the correspondent of Al Jazeera. The story was soft and rather than drifting towards political slant, it was totally directed towards the economical reforms of the new state. The questions raised were, how will the new state prosper? How will the industries grow? How the new government will tackle the old issues of unemployment and growth of the state at a faster economical rate? An example of an iron-ore industry was broadcasted. The questions were very valid and it interested me (the link of the video will be uploaded on this post).

Now, on the contrary I saw, not all but few (more than 12 approx.) videos of the way our Indian media reported the same Telangana issue. And it came to me as no surprise; the political coverage on the issue was very high. No coverage in top 10 videos was other than political news by all the big media houses of India (English & Hindi channels both). A very simple question is, if they (foreign media) can then why not we (Our media)? Of course the style of the journalism differs from channel to channel and nation to nation but framing news in particular windows affects it. For example, regular political coverage of the Telangana reporting made it repetitive. Were there any new packages (new formats, new feature reports, new special interest stories) reported by Indian media? Well, I didn’t saw many; most of the spaces on broadcast channels were covered by political leaders justifying or fighting against the decision of congress (form Telangana). Was it the only important thing about Telangana?

At a point of time, I felt that the people for whom the state was created were left behind the race of coverage. Well, this is one way of looking it. I know that there cannot be a comparison between the way a foreign channel reports and the way our channels do their reporting. The audience is different for both the channel. But my concern is only about proprieties. Are we paying to see the never ending discussion panels? Or story (human interest or economical) which really appeal to us?

Share your thoughts and write down your opine if you have a different thinking on the same.

WHY ALWAYS MODI?

He caught the eyeballs of the whole nation, when, for the first time he became the chief minister of Gujarat on 7th October 2001. It was after his swornship that Gujarat faced the worst hit of riots in 2002. Many accused him as the main reason for those riots. It is because this that he is always in media. He may like it or not, but the media would never leave his trail. In media terms, Narendra Modi is a ‘Newsmaker’.

Media knows the value of Modi. The weightage attributed to Modi is very high as compared to any other politician in India. His speeches are so carefully heard by the media personnel and only one casual word from his mouth can make a big front page story or breaking news on any television news channel. The end product is a fabricated, scripted and media manufactured word. My intension in writing so much before actually coming to my point is that, I want to make my point clear that how media not just reports but manufactures news at times.

Recently Modi was in news for his comments, which he made in his interview with the Reuters news agency. Now, whether the comment was controversial or did the media made it look such? Well, both the possibilities cannot be denied. Now let examine through the point of view of the media.

2014 elections are near, and media is on top again, chasing sensationalism. Media did a simple thing, played the only part, where Modi uses the word ‘puppy’ and ‘Hindu nationalist’, of the interview again and again. So, without telling us the whole scenario it is only reporting that which can spark a party against party war and media can get a full loaded content for telecasting 24*7. This is very clear on how media is setting its agenda (agenda setting theory, refer my first blog for more details on this theory). It is not giving us the false side of the story but also not delivering the whole truth. This is how media should perform its social responsibility?

Now, the reporter from Reuters who interviewed Modi made a clear statement that the context in which modi said these lines were not at all controversial. He was just explaining a situation but the media projected it otherwise. Is media setting their agenda for the 2014 election? Is the media giving us what we want and not actually what is required by us? Is just taking bytes of various leaders from various parties on a particular topic and filling up content slot is media’s main motto?

There are a lot of questions which go unanswered. And we are a part of this dumbing down of news. It at times also depends on our peers, on what opinion we form. There is always someone, to whom we look for guidance or in our opinion forming. What if the person we are counting on is biased? Two Step flow theory; which states that whatever information we acquire, comes two us in two stages. First from the media to the opinion leader and then from the opinion leader to us. Hence, we listen to what the opinion leader says. Also knowledge theory plays a vital role here (for further information about this theory refer to my first post).

This is how the news media works sometimes. Yes we cannot do much about it but we can make ourselves aware of the media business and thus can help ourselves in forming right decisions.

Well as always, you are free to drop your comments and yes I will answer your queries for sure. Also if you want to know more on media and contemporary reporting, be my guest and go through my earlier posts.