The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ramu’s next

I have titled the film I am going to make on the media as Rann. Rann means battle. And battle is a fight between large organised forces. In the context of a civil society and its deep complexities, large organised forces (read news channels, political parties and industrial czars) are not just involved in a fight with each other, but more importantly and frighteningly, they are battling a war within themselves and this is especially true of news channels.

If dog bites man, it is not news. But if man bites dog, it is news. And if a cat bites a dog, it’s Breaking News. Getting news is not the easiest thing in the world, so the next best thing obviously would be to make anything and everything appear to be news.

The way the news are presented today is much more entertaining than family soaps and thrillers. What’s worse is that we enjoy this kind of presentation so much that we have got addicted to them for our daily dose of fun and drama.

And high drama is what Rann is going to be. There is the government — a system which runs the country, then there are wealth creators like industrialists and then there are politicians in the ruling party and the opposition.

All the above in a democratic society are supposed to be working for the common people and the one and only means of the common people having any idea as to what those are up to is through the media. Hence the media has been invented as a truth telling machinery serving the purpose of the common people so that they know they are in good hands or in case they are told that they are not, they can hope to exercise the power of their vote to bring about a change. But in a free economy system where there is so much competition the media by default is lost in its purpose.

The Media is a reporting agency. It reports News. NEWS is what is new. New is what you hear for the first time. So to be able to be the first to tell you the various news, newspapers and channels have an intense competition among themselves and this they do on a need to survive, an ego to be on the top and greed to get rich.

To be ahead of competition means more circulation and higher TRPs which in turn generate more and more ad revenue which will translate into making more and more and more money. Also the fact that in the process the people who run the media realise their power of influencing the common people inevitably makes them power hungry.

To sum up this film’s intention would be to expose the behind-the-scenes truth of how a truth telling machinery by the very virtue of its positioning has no choice but to corrupt itself to become a money-making and power-brokering enterprise.

Truth is terrible — Friedrich Neitzsche (Ecce Homo)

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