Although, I am quoting someone from Cricket/Bollywood, which I hate to do (but I may do it again), here are some excerpts from Amir Khan's interview to Tehelka. It precisely echoes what I tried to say in the previous blog post and I couldn't resist posting some of the contents here. If Tendulkar, Amitabh choose to talk to the media they'd probably say something similar. In my opinion, the media has prostituted itself to earn quick bucks. In a Michael Jackson post, I wrote a year before, I bashed the western media for essentially making up stories on their own. Apparently, my backyard isnt clean. The Times of India & NDTV will do anything, go any distance, tell lies to earn a few bucks.
Strange and unimportant stories are constantly making headlines. Only things which are sensational or cater to very base emotions of people are headline news. I realise TV channels are sprouting every day and there’s a lot of competition to grab viewership. Similarly with newspapers. As a result they are stooping to the lowest levels to try and get readership or viewership which actually translates into money. So at the end of the day because they want more ads they are destroying what is a very important part of society and that is news reporting. The nation and society at large have a right to know what is happening in the country and in the right manner and right perspective. The kind of news making headlines today — earlier they used to be tidbits or one page which was meant to be entertaining, or half a page — not even one page. But now that’s the main news and stories of farmers dying or something equally important that affects our lives or affects the lives of a lot of people are being pushed to small, unimportant sections of the paper. I find this very damaging and alarming.
Newspapers like The Times of India were printing false news about me during the marriage. This is supposed to be one of the most prestigious newspapers in the country. None of the others are far behind. All the leading newspapers today are only interested in printing photographs of naked women in at least five pages of the publication — that’s what it’s come down to as far as I can see — on a daily basis (laughing) — not a one-off, on a daily basis.
You have background music now in news channels, they have scores to illustrate or emphasise or create the mood or emotion behind a flood or earthquake. They have background music for Chrissakes! It’s shocking. Next you’ll have dialogue writers and special effects! What is left ya. (laughs) At least Doordarshan is calming. In an unemotional way, they tell you the news. People are not shouting da da da — “Breaking News! Guess what’s happening!” No dramatics, no theatrics, no deep sighs, no wiping of tears and no background music!
When NDTV started out, it was certainly a channel I respected, and it was trying to do different work. I have high regard for Prannoy and his team. However, over the years and recent months, I find it is slipping very badly and I’m sorry to say that, but the fact of the matter is that it is slipping
There are so many. The Hindustan Times twice printed the completely false news that that I was married to Preity Zinta! There were three or four interviews that I had not given that came out in Asian Age! Channel 7 once telecast an interview with me that was not with me at all. This was around the time that the Salman Khan tapes had been made public. Some channel asked me to react. I gave a live byte on air. Suddenly my sister called from Bangalore saying, are you talking to Channel 7 because they have a picture of you doing a telephonic interview but it’s not your voice. I’m your sister, I know. I had done no telephonic interview so there was an interview going on with someone who claimed he was Aamir Khan!
During the Bombay floods, the first time it was pretty bad. But a few days later there was rain again. Now, I live in Bombay, the second time it rained there wasn’t that kind of floods. I drove my car along the highway and I went to various places and in fact Bombay was not locked on that day. But the national news was propagating that it was. And they were showing footage of the earlier flood and not even calling it file footage.