Communiqué is the annual media conclave organized by IlluminatiX- The Media and PR cell of XUB that seeks to deliver a platform for quality discussions on emerging trends and issues plaguing the media industry. The theme for this year was, ‘Media: Still a Mouthpiece for Free Speech?’ Communiqué is preluded by Critiqué which is an article writing competition organized by IlluminatiX, through which students from various colleges all over India get an opportunity to share their opinions on the theme. On the basis of creativity, content, and relevance eight students were selected this year to be the best submissions.
Ever imagined the hyper-loop of message turned from a pigeon’s beak to a throng of people? Panchayats vanished to WhatsApp groups; Doordarshan’s Ramayan to MTV’s Splitsvilla and generalized news to Arnab Goswami’s confluence. Thus, what matters more – what we see or what we perceive through this?
Podium establishes its right not by allowing contestants to talk to 1000 pupils but by connecting to those catchy 100 minds who thrive on the content. Our worlds changed from free space to gigabytes and so did our media. From black and white movies to colourful souls, we developed a difference of opinion where this podium stands as our savior. It not only beckons us to put forward but also gives a chance to justify our highlighted thoughts. In the race, it always famishes, asking for spicy updates and juicy events. What quenches the media? Is it timely awareness? Fragmented headlines? Or fake accolades? 1M likes in the wink of an eye seem supported or Modi’s hot news every Sunday seems appropriate? Media has changed its norms from informing to reforming.
We see, we act and we talk. Surprisingly our gullible eyes fail to recognize the essence in derived news and arrived news. Silver coating news with political pressure strangles our belief in the media. It fails to revamp the truth in the mystery of its image building. In the midst, it opens its milky bar to public reflections. No sooner does this remain a safer mode of information transaction. Millions of people sharing their experiences and posting live visions test the sanctity of media. Flushing on each other’s point in an open debate or narrating the same story thrice, media seems more of a daily soap today.
Ascending from cassettes to opera and DJ, it rejoices us. Nothing comes for free as our ancestors describe. Media got some of its vicious tactics to our table. No longer had it seemed completely true or partly neutral, it decomposed of its baseline to the orders of current demand. Gauri Lankesh being an exemplary showing how truth could be dreadful. When voice seemed suppressed with cunning minds, ombudsman like her took a toll on life. It makes us helpless and addicted, that we reach the cliff of madness. Pokemon Go and Blue Whale have been extraordinarily dangerous sites of media. It not only grabs you emotionally but also devastates your peers and surroundings. It gulped lives and forced people to commit atrocities. Media shamed itself when Executive Punya Prasun Bajpai had to resign merely because he was deprived to use his words and flash the truth about various walks politically. Under various high-end orders and igniting corruptions, it became impossible for this noblest to bare partial behavior anymore and the end to which was resignation. It not only shows how suffocating media can be for a loyalist but also how it depicts an easy to go to the aisle for all the negativity.
By virtue of its clustered hand, it jumps out on antagonist and disguises itself as a voice of the victims. We cannot forget how supportive media has been through decades flourishing its fancy faces with vital vibes. Tapping on the news before even the disaster relief has reached the site, thrown out from sojourn discomfort of postal to a minute away from Skype. It has widened its reach for our beautification and comfortability. From retro radio to simply Saavn it somewhere made our lives easier. It got the world closer by not only Printing press and 92.5 FM but it trapped us into its eternal waters. TedX is the best example of how the dais could provide opportunities for free expression with no prejudices. It encompasses all the cordial relations that we share and how willingly people contribute through its medium. The recent Kerala catastrophe gave us a glimpse of how connected you are being thousands of miles away and how generous you are being an unknown. All our media counterparts were not being busy to showcase their talents of paparazzo but being humble enough to capture our insights on donations and relief camps. Numerous ways to collate information and diversification media handed over its integrity to our greedy hands. We may turn it over as Rubik’s cube but we tend to forget that with every change it is us at the other end.
Do we have permissions to splash negativity over it? Or do media come hijacked to us? We decide what we view and how much we must be buoyant over it. We catalogued its honesty of departing news to a medium of transportation. Its evolution is no different from the upbringing of a child. He may be handicapped or helpless at the start, but eventually, he turns out to be a fit for its own kind. He may be dependent on guardians and take an insight on every decision that parks his way, but at the end it is he who faces it, paces it and will have to race it as well. Similarly, Media has now reached its adolescence, we may be judgmental about what it serves and what it preaches, but it’s us who let it pave its way. It will always portray what it has to and not what it should. It may deceive you with its happy hours and convince you with its happy jars. It is not media that stands for free speech; it is ultimately us driving it as a medium. We gave them land to perform and so we should build our own fences. A free land always accompanies an open sky; the kaleidoscope of media is never-ending. We choose, we decipher and we learn. It is us who decide what to read and how much to gain from it. Media stands no barrier between our abilities to judge and our intelligence to swallow.
Media resembles the idea of a Bermuda triangle, where there stands no assurance and no presumptions. It offers us a wide range of technology to hop upon and an open arm to embrace its weaknesses. It will not hold your hand nor would isolate you; all we can rely upon is our sixth sense and intuition. Choosing wisely on its content, media could replace books for our space for best friends.
Prin. L. N Welingkar Institute of Management
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