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The insensitive side of media: A call for change

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The media plays a vital role in shaping our society. It informs us about current events, educates us about important issues, and entertains us. However, the media can also be insensitive and harmful, particularly in India.

One of the most common forms of media insensitivity in India is the use of offensive language and imagery. For example, news channels and newspapers often use derogatory terms to refer to marginalized groups, such as Dalits, Muslims, and women. They may also publish photos or videos that are exploitive or sensationalized.

Same goes for using fake news to attract publicity and narration towards their channels. The influence of dominant groups in our country are also a reason of insensitive and fake news that we consume in our daily life without realizing it could be a propaganda turning us against our own.

Another form of media insensitivity is the propagation of stereotypes and harmful narratives. For example, the media often portrays women as victims or sex objects. It may also stereotype minority groups as criminals or terrorists. These stereotypes can have a negative impact on public opinion and perpetuate discrimination.

In addition, the media can be insensitive by sensationalizing violence and tragedy. For example, news channels may broadcast graphic footage of accidents or crimes without providing adequate context or support for victims.

Sometimes the same incidents has different pictures than the actual cause which leads to lack to fact checking and manipulating people’s perspectives and turning them against an individual or majority which has become quite common on Indian media these days.

This can be traumatizing for viewers and can contribute to a culture of violence, deterioration of belief, change of perspective on something that needs its truth to be put out on.

The insensitive side of the media in India has a number of negative consequences. It can:

Promote discrimination and violence

Damage the reputation of marginalized groups

Harm children and vulnerable people

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Undermine public trust in the media

It is time for the media in India to change. We need to see more sensitivity and compassion in the way that news is reported and presented. We need to see more diversity and representation in the media workforce. And we need to see a commitment to ethical and responsible journalism.

Here are some specific examples of media insensitivity in India:

In 2022, a news channel broadcast a video of a Dalit man being beaten by upper-caste men. The video was accompanied by derogatory commentary and laughter from the anchors.

In 2021, a newspaper published a photo of a Muslim woman who had been arrested for protesting against a controversial religious law. The photo was cropped in such a way that it made the woman look like a terrorist.

In 2020, a TV show aired a skit that mocked transgender people. The skit was widely condemned for being offensive and insensitive.

These are just a few examples of the many ways in which the media in India can be insensitive. It is important to call out this behavior and demand change. We need to hold the media accountable for its reporting and to create a more inclusive and respectful media landscape.

Here are some steps that can be taken to address media insensitivity in India:

Media organizations should adopt ethical guidelines that prohibit the use of offensive language, imagery, and stereotypes.

Media workers should be trained on how to report sensitive issues in a responsible and compassionate way.

Media consumers should be more critical of the media they consume and call out insensitive reporting.

Government and civil society organizations should work together to promote media literacy and encourage the media to be more inclusive and respectful.

By taking these steps, we can create a media landscape that is more sensitive to the needs of all.

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