Turning the Front Page into Page 3Till now, we were used to sensationalism on the television channels. The Sheena Bora murder case has turned mainstream media sensationalist too. Someone has rightly commented that the Front Page has now become Page 3. The situation is going out of hand with a daily dose of tit-bits about the dramatis persona in the case dominating news in India. Who is interested in reading so much trash about Peter Mukherjea, Indrani Mukherjea and her various husbands and their combined progeny? Evidence says almost everyone.
By Sunil Garodia
Scandal sells and sells so forcefully that our venerated newspapers have turned into screaming tabloids. If someone in public life is involved in a serious crime like murdering her own daughter, it definitely is front page news, maybe for a period of two or three days as developments unfold. But digging up the past of such a person and splashing it all over the front page is not mainstream news. It is plain, simple gossip and is not worth front paging by venerated newspapers.
But almost everyone now believes in the maxim that people should be given what they want. Hence, when we pick up the newspapers these days, we have headlines like Ã¢â¬ÅIndrani stoic in court while daughter breaks downÃ¢â¬Â and have two column into 25 cms photographs of a police officer carrying a suitcase that was to be used to carry IndraniÃ¢â¬â¢s sons body after he was murdered too, on the front page. Do these items deserve to be on the front page even a week after the story first broke? I am of the opinion that they do not and should have been relegated to the inside pages long ago.
But the urge to attract new readers and do what others are doing is so strong that not one newspaper has gone off the story and moved on to more pressing items. Indrani Mukherjea should demand royalty from the press for squeezing every little drop out of her life. There were big pictures of her parentsÃ¢â¬â¢ house in Guwahati, for GodÃ¢â¬â¢s sake, as if anyone would be interested to know how her parents live. But there are readers for these stories and the newspapers are catering to the lowest common denominator, never mind journalistic standards.