To most no news is good news; for the press good news is not news! So the hunt for bad news!  News which shocks, maligns, sensationalizes, trivializes, hurts and so on is presented through headlines and in details. Not all but most do it. Is it to express a free, frank, independent and forthright view and opinion? Is it to raise the adrenaline, play and raise the tempo and infuse and exploit the sentiments? Or is it for downright, to accelerate sales, for pecuniary gains? Perhaps for all and every mentioned and more reasons! The underlying fact as we discern is that in every statement in the newspaper remains an omnipresent and everlasting smell and aura of politics.  We all are aware that politics is all about power and no more. Those exercising power in various other fields are made responsible as they are accountable but rarely are the case with the media. Criticizing the media barons who owned British newspapers, in a speech in London on March 17, 1931, British politician Stanley Baldwin, “Power without responsibility — the prerogative of the harlots throughout the ages.”  The line is said to be suggested to Baldwin by his cousin Rudyard Kipling. Though this is harsh but may be mainly true even today.

“Newspapers are unable, seemingly to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization” George Bernard Shaw. How accurate. Sample of yesterday’s news confirm the quote.

  • Brahmin sperms in high demand among childless couples Dilip Patil, founding president of  Trivector, an infertility solutions firm, says there is a definite preference for Brahim donors in Mumbai. “Even among Muslims, couples want to know whether the donor is Sunni or Shiite,” he says. “However, going by Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines, we reveal only the religion of the donor, not the caste.”
  • Ramdev to Muslims: What your maulanas can’t do, a baba will “If your maulanas cannot raise your voice,” he said, “a baba will do it for you.

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing, but newspapers” Thomas Jefferson, Third president of the United States. I know what they read. Here are samples that they find that are invigorating and enlightening:

  • The legend of Jaya, Rekha and ‘Him’ how close/far apart will they sit in Parliament? Will there be a clandestine photo-op there? What will Rekha wear? How much jewelry will she have on? Will they avoid each other or — oh, the excitement of it — be forced to exchange public pleasantries? Did someone say something about political leanings? Ideological stances? Areas of interest? Oratorical skills (as opposed to dialogue-baazi)? Perish the thought; this is the Rajya Sabha we’re talking about. That’s the power of The Legend. After all these years, it still exercises a hold on the media and fans alike without one real, legally admissible, corroborating statement from either party concerned. Ah, but then, that is precisely what has fueled the interest and the perennial rumors for decades now.
  • Karan Johar takes a dig at Katrina Kaif? After Priyanka Chopra, it seems Karan Johar’s next target is Katrina Kaif. According to the filmmaker, the pretty actor doesn’t know how to pose for magazine covers!

“If I want to read fiction, I’ll buy a newspaper.” Inevitably this happens more often than not. A few sample headlines, I am not mentioning the biased, unthinkable and unverified reporting’s:

•             Behind Army Leh clash, breach of rules, failure of Command

•             In Army, the unthinkable happens.

•             Ladakh troop revolt underlines Army class tensions

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” Napoleon I.   Nonetheless, modern warfare necessitates a relationship and a continuing dialogue between the media and the military, because wars are fought not only in the battlefield but also, in the realm of public opinion. There is perhaps only one thing worse than losing a war, and that is fighting a war that people at home have forgotten or have no interest in. Having a successful military operation today means not only that military objectives have been met, but also that the people at home are convinced that the tide of battle is on our side. Yet we have news coverage and analysis by a bunch of amateurs whose knowledge of Military is gained while consuming a glass of whiskey in the officer’s mess or a peg of rum with the Jawans at the Bara Khana!

At the cost of being termed cynical I would defend myself in the words of Thomas Jefferson “The advertisements are the most truthful part of a newspaper!”