The wall to wall coverage of the recent devastating Nepal earthquake by the Indian media has invited heavy criticism from all quarters. #GoHomeIndianMedia has been trending across Twitter with Indian media being bashed for the insensitive coverage. In the race to become the channel with the 'best' and the most 'extensive' coverage, TV channels stooped down to the lowest levels. People from Nepal across the globe are venting out their anger and dismay ridiculing the nature of reportage amid devastation.
This open letter by a Nepali citizen to the Indian media throws light upon media's thirsty journalistic approach towards, and despite, tragedies.
To Indian media,
I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart for the help your country has provided at this time of crisis in my country, Nepal. All the Nepalese in and outside of the country are thankful to your country.
However, me being a Nepali outside from my motherland, when saw your news and news reports, my heart cried and hurt more than those destruction caused by 7.9 Richter magnitude of earthquake. Like all the medical personnel are taught and trained for potential disasters in future, as a reporter, I hope there is some kind of training on how to report different events. Your media and media personnel are acting like they are shooting some kind of family serials. If your media person can reach to the places where the relief supplies have not reached, at this time of crisis can’t they take a first-aid kit or some food supplies with them as well?
There has been one viral news report going on where a reporter presented how people were fighting for food and one women got injured badly. Thanks to the reporter who had enough time to grab the victim and bring to the camera to show the victim hurt badly on her head. But how surprising, he did not have a minute to grab a piece of cloth to stop bleeding . That reporter did not have a minute to grab the wrist of that person who was beating others with helmet. There was of course a cameraman who does not want to miss a second so that a dramatic news could be presented. I think you are a human before you become a media person. As a responsible person, it was your duty to save someone.
Next, there was this one reporter who had so much time to disturb the rescue workers on asking about technology. If you cannot save one life on that spot, could you please stop bothering others? It looks like, the reporter is new to the world of technology. A show where these technology launching program happens would be better for him to host. Thanks to tons of reporters who came to Nepal from those rescue planes of India, you took a seat where a victim could be transported to hospitals/ health camps. Thanks to you all reporters, you took a seat where a bag of food and supplies could be placed to send to those hardly hit places.
As a human, show your humanity. There are enough programs in this world of television where people can see dramatic shows, family serials, horror shows and nonsense reality shows. You do not have to add more at least in this time of crisis.
MESSAGE TO ALL THE MEDIA PEOPLE WHO ARE ON GROUND NOW IN NEPAL:
Your duty as a reporter is not just to capture the scenario and interview people. If you have access to these critical areas hit hard by earthquake, please take some first-aid kit with you. Take some food supplies, tent and water with you. You don’t have to show how government is not able to send supply there. At least you could reach there, so why can’t you all team up. We Nepali people have already seen and experienced weakness and selfishness of our government all our years. At least this time, everyone show your duty as a human.
MEDIA IS A POWER, IF USED CAREFULLY. OTHERWISE IT COULD ACT LIKE A WEAPON KILLING THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE.
I hope my message will reach out to all the reporters out there.
It is time for all of us to deeply introspect the way we function as the 'fourth pillar of democracy'. Media's primary job is to inform and educate, but in times of crisis, mediapersons can and must also act like humans, and look beyond numbers, while in the middle of a tragedy as big as Nepal.
Letter Source : CNN
Feature image source : Bharat Press