Assamese media
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Assamese Media: Quality On The Slide

August 20, 2019

Assamese media over the past few years have witnessed a rapid downfall in its quality and every day it is creating a new high in the scale of low.

Assamese media, both print and broadcast, today seems like trash bins that are operated by a few people who either have no knowledge or minimal knowledge about ethics and facts.

What is mostly observed in the print media is the presentation of news items that are mostly a collection of one-sided opinions and some biased views.

The basic and the golden rule of journalism- 5Ws and 1H- is seldom followed by a majority of Assamese newspapers.

Mixing fiction with ultra fiction seems to be the call of the day and what I have observed is that most of the newspapers are in an undisclosed competition against each other- the competition of who can be more pathetic.

Headlines (in most cases) are misleading and the news story or the opinions published are not properly researched and are half-baked.

"Spicing it up" is what most Assamese media outlets (print) have indulged in today.

If the print was bad, then the broadcast (television) is getting worse with every passing day.

The Assamese news channels today lack good content and the news presenters scream instead of talking.

As a student of journalism, I was taught a few traits about news presentation, but sadly today the majority of news anchors lack that basic trait- that is the trait of being calm and composed.

Yes, there are some news anchors who are good to the ears but the sorry tale is that the percentage of such anchors are like a needle in the hay.

Web journalism is the latest trend in Assam and in the last 2-3 years, the number of web portals (mostly Assamese) has increased.

Initially, it was only textual but with the passage of time visual content is beginning to rule the web.

ALSO READ: Media And The Half Baked News

An increase in the number of portals is always welcomed and I personally believe this to be a good thing.

But what surprises me is the lack of quality in these portals.

The anchors of these Assamese news portals make it a point that they shout their lungs out while presenting news.

And top of that, every single news is "big breaking" and "news of extreme importance".

Right from an incident of petty theft to the murder of some person or some humanitarian story, everything is "screamed" with equal decibel intensity.

They should remember that for a news anchor modulation of tone and style is of extreme importance.

The next low these portals and the news anchors display with audacity is their zero knowledge about the happenings around the world and their absolute no sense about the usage of words and language.

Why I am saying this, because had they known the meanings of words, then they would have not called the death of an enemy soldier at the hands of the Indian Army "murder"!

The news to which the anchor was referring was the death of the Pakistani major who captured Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman when the latter's flight crash-landed in Pakitan during the Balakot strikes.

But the exact Assamese words that the anchor used, when translated to English meant roughly as, "Indian army murders the captor of Wing Commander Abhinandan Warthaman."

"India gives the perfect reply to Pakistan. Army murders captor of Wing Commander Abhinandan" meant the following sentence.

The exact Assamese word used to describe the Pakistani major's death was "hatya" which in English means "murder".

In a one-to-one encounter between the armies of two nations, soldiers die in the hands of their enemy counterparts.

Moreover, the Pakistani major was doing his duty and every army man would capture any personnel from the enemy army who enters their country illegally.

The Pakistani major did nothing out-of-the-box or did not commit any crime by capturing Abhinandan Warthaman after he crash-landed in Pakistan.

However, the expression of the anchor was such that the Pakistani general had committed a crime by taking the Wing Commander captive and that India finally had the last laugh after he died in a cross border firing between the Indian and the Pakistani armies.

This is just one instance as there are plenty more where the anchors have revealed their lack of knowledge regarding the usage of language.

The incidents of rapes, murders, thefts, accidents etc. are described using words that completely change the structure and nature of the news.

Sometimes, even misleading the public and a completely different version of the news is portrayed.

One more thing I have closely observed is that in the race to "break" the news, in most cases the news shared lacks proper information on the subject talked out.

Information shared by random persons via social media outlets is considered and taken as a "first-hand source" and "authentic source" of information.

I have often wondered what could be the main reason behind this "trend" when it comes to Assamese media, especially the broadcast (television) media.

"It helps us to get noticed and better our TRP and viewership," said one of my former colleagues who is a renowned face of Assamese television.

This is simply my observation and my personal opinion about the quality of Assamese media and it may not be the right observation.

Even the quality of this article is low, it is biased and half baked and lacks proper research.

Maybe I shall do some in-depth research on the topic and come up with a better version- a version high in quality!

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