Monday, October 10, 2005

Earthquake and TV reporting

What would be the reaction of viewers if they were subjected to live images of disfigured faces of innocent kids who are buried under earthquake ravaged concrete slabs. Would it churn viewer’s intestine out of disgust or create empathy to be of any help to these innocent victims? I faced this dilemma as I was watching Geo TV this morning as I was getting to leave for work.

Since yesterday, GEO, NDTV are doing commendable job of covering earthquake that has caused huge sufferings on both sides of Kashmir. But is it necessary for Geo TV to describe the humiliation and subjugation of helpless human beings to fury of nature in gruesome detail? Could they not edit the contents of graphic images or at least blur the faces of those unfortunate souls. There is no denying about courage of media in covering an event by reaching inaccessible places with camera crew but does it portray their professionalism by projecting live coverage of broken limbs, shattered faces, blood soaked bodies?

What are they trying to achieve? Triumph of journalistic spirit or sympathy among TV viewers?

Yesterday a discussion with elite panels with an aim of soliciting financial support ended up in having a presenter deluging himself with personal feelings so much, so that content of his reporting was lost in his teary-eyed appeals

I fear such reporting would only make people switch over the other channels.

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