Should media be “Reel” or “Real”

Non-fiction Apr 16, 2020

Medium of television continues to be under scanner. Questions that still have not got an unequivocal answer are: whether television as a media bespeak reality or create it? Should it limn to an ideal world?

The best response seems to be that the relationship is reciprocal: the media especially, television, sometimes changes culture; while the cultural changes are reflected in television

Media has two motives – reflect the reality in roughly the same proportion as is present and to develop a consensus on how the reality can be improved

But the onus is on those that are, ostensibly, mainstream ‘reality” media. For one, they focus only on one chunk of reality-celebrity, for instance-with such an overwhelming passion, that they neglect to realise that the impact of this chunk of reality is trifling in the larger perspective of the world

Such media does reflect a chunk of inevitable occurrences (natural calamities) but this coverage is so purged, so devoid of context, that far from becoming a stimulus for thought and action, it becomes a convenient mollify to daze perception.

The most Jim-dandy tactics by these houses is by sinister commercial design or apathy; they tend to thrust upon us only one facet of the information.

News on TV is gravitated toward entertainment and entertainers. Media houses, practice this brand of 'celebrity journalism’, which effectively addresses a group of people whose concerns are fashion and glamour centric. We are responsible for the triumph of "infotainment” over information?

Although most serials are not kosher, they seem like reality, and they have tangible emotional responses, such as laughing and crying, in the audience. This creates a sturdy mirage of reality, which becomes a part and parcel in the life of every audience. This emotional bequest of reel life becomes the bequest of real life experiences. In fact, they change reality by interacting with the minds of the viewers.

Ideal television should reflect what movies can’t. But they mimic. This is borne out by the glamour they garner.

We are living in times where we are hounded to find unscathed heroes. It’s a century where an actor is a spectacle and this spectacle is loved.

On the other hand, viewers negotiate a meaning. Even though television carries a message, we tend to emblazoning it in a way which is approbated by the circumstances

Moreover, the media houses are not “windows of reality”. They are in fact the brain child of directors, producers. The content which is provided is constructed based on the viewers but not exactly the reality.

Ultimately, significant change will only occur when these beefy houses feel pressure to recalibrate viewers’ preferences in a proper hierarchy which is good for us.

-Akash Akki

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