Media Trial: An unfair affair?

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Photo courtesy: Saswata Mukherjee & Susruta Mukherjee

Media Trial, as significant this word may sound, has a catapulting effect. It weaves a narrative in accordance with noise that derives its magnitude from fake news and WhatsApp forwards. After accumulating conspiracy theories, selective news outlets run them on Prime Time for days, months and years until they are slammed. This time too, this popular Indian actor’s death by suicide was being misrepresented and maligned, with channels playing Sherlock Holmes, even challenging the acumen of top investigation agencies, Police, top hospitals in the country.

They groped everyone and anyone they could, to yell out loud their propaganda. This ensued a hate wave on social media for the accused even before there was anything substantially proven. She (accused) was pronounced guilty by bots and her social media prosecution happened even before the law agencies were allowed to do their job. And indeed, the trial did influence the case unfairly as we have seen in the past as well. Over the years, especially in the last decade, media trials have seemingly triggered an accused-shaming consensus in India, that is everything disparaging but fair.

The situation is such that facts don’t matter much but conspiracies do. From vilification of accused to barging into someone’s personal space, all lines are crossed, all ethics are eroded and journalism is killed. Here’s presenting to you news’ tryst with travesty with this short poem:

Breaking news is the norm, yelling is the form

We align with trials that have no norm

Media in the time of Corona is trial-&-justice driven,

Compelling ethics to take backseat

Or maybe, they took long back, just that it’s more evident with the onset of glee

The anchors care about justice too often now

That they ensure to pick sides now

They want the nation to know who killed, drugged and smoked

Forgetting the plume, they once endured

Media Trial in the time of Corona is propaganda of none, but channels

Where conspiracies are officiated and stories are fabricated

Dare you give a benefit of doubt to accused

Dare you speak for the accused

Dare you let investigation unfold

Dare you let the truth be told

Because there is media trial in progress, and dare you question it

Once perceived as trajectory of justice,

Media Trials now claim to be custodian of justice

Their operational mechanism is too WhatsApp to be true

Their ethical standard is too unethical to be true

What is true is the “Breaking News Syndrome

Selling the model of Yell and Lead, Not Tell and Heed

Trapping people into make-believe stories

Trapping them into hate theories

Media trial in the time of Corona is important than dying economy

It is important than truth, because post-truth you see

It is so important that it prefers killing sanctity of press

So important that being number 1 is its only stress

Pronouncing the accused guilty is its favourite pastime,

Defaming them is its only PRIME TIME

From politician to girlfriend, parents to boyfriend

Everyone should be held behind bars

Their reputation should be lynched from scratch to scar

It will be so unfair that law and order will be tarred

It will be so unfair that speaking up will be barred

And all of this to make national joke of the tragic death of a star

And not let him rest with stars

And not let him rest with stars…

Himakshi Panwar

I write as I feel, and think as I see. A blend of two worlds with an old-school touch and uncommon nerve!

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