Random Thoughts

Journalism – Another Perspective

Dear Ms. Srivastava,

I am sorry for your travails and sympathize with you. The fault, however is equally yours. I am probably older than you and while experience does not often translate to wisdom, let me try to enlighten you in my poor way.

  1. The purpose of all advertisements is to generate a need in you to spend your money to awaken and fulfill needs that you did not even know that you had.

  2. There is a human desire to identify with winners and a greater stupidity to believe that buying the right perfume, deodorant, shoes or car will bring you the fame, riches, power and or the curvaceous blonde or handsome hunk of your desires.

  3. Newspapers, other periodicals, TV and media, in general are basically geared to make a substantial profit for their owners and are thus reluctant to give a critical analysis, lest they offend readers or advertisers. They thus stick to non-controversial subjects like gossip, celebrities, sports and other inconsequential non-sequiturs, while avoiding controversy or truth. Reporters depend on strategic leaks from powerful insiders for advancement of their careers and are afraid to annoy owners who depend on advertisers.

Thus in a capitalistic society we have the farce of "Ushtranam vivaheshu gito gayanti gardhabani. Parasparam prashansayante, aho rupam, aho dhvani". It translates as, in the weddings of the camels, the songsters are the donkeys who sing how handsome the groom is and are answered by the camels with praise for the beauty of their voices and words.

Much of life is a mutual back scratching endeavor. In a totalitarian society the restraining factor is fear. The recent debacles at BBC, the biased reporting of PBS and the nonsense of Doodarshan prove my thesis. Your experience with sundry web-sites or papers should make you aware that most newspapers have their best use after toilet and historically that is what most Americans used them for before the invention of less abrasive toilet paper.

Thus, if you wish to seek the truth, information or understanding, it is imperative that you visit non-profit web-sites espousing both leftist and rightist points of view and try to distill the truth by your own discriminating abilities. In America particularly and in the rest of the world as well, non-profit foundations and even NGOs are financed by vested interests and often have their own axe to grind. Thus the search for substance will be challenging and even then not always rewarding. This is why Plato and the Hindu philosophers found two distinct solutions. Plato promulgated severe and stringent restrictions on the guardians of society. Our people realized the futility of such Draconian restraints knowing human nature, and thus gave us the false but reasonable hope that over time, rebirth or imminent mortality, wisdom would develop and confer a satiety of desire to enlighten the mind. For desire is the root cause of evil and unhappiness, but unfortunately also of progress.

For a more practical suggestion, please try the web-site www.zmag.org for less biased information, but still with a skeptical attitude and understanding that the left is not without its own inherent faults. The other and probably better solution is to avoid the internet altogether and read from books in print, again with critical analysis of the credentials and biases of the authors. As any good woman should know browsing the net is like looking for a good man. One has to kiss a lot of frogs before one stumbles on a prince and even then there is no guarantee of living happily ever after.

Feel free to criticize, comment or start a discussion on the forum or by direct e-mail.


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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