By Neha Viswanathan
This post is part of the Global Voices coverage on the terror attacks in Mumbai, India on November 26, 2008.
Anger at the media for their coverage of the terror attacks in Mumbai is apparent on the blogosphere. For one, the mainstream media appears to have taken the approach of “shock and shake”, as opposed to verifying rumors before reporting them. But the nation appears glued to their television sets, as it is probably the most “live” source of information at this point in time. Kalyan Varma writes:
In tough economic and global times like this, we will win only if we move on with out lives and keep this behind. This is how we fight terror, not overreacting to this, not invading countries and giving up our freedom. Bad enough the security guards check my car and bags each time I enter a mall or hotel here in Bangalore, I do not want to give up any more of my freedom.
and someone please shut up Barkha Dutt of NDTV. She is causing more damage to the country by FUD than the terrorists themselves.
And from the perspective of a media man, Smoke Signals writes a poignant post on news and the self.
The rational corner of my mind tells me that there is no security measure, no multi-crore security ‘plan’ that can permanently inoculate me and my fellow Mumbaikars against what is becoming a gory ritual. But who, listening to a colleague call in with details of grenade explosions and the rattle of machine guns and mounting body counts or watching images of the Taj Mahal Hotel – more, to me and my fellow Mumbaikars than a ‘hotel’; its facade is as much a part of my Mumbai-ness as is vada pav and cutting chai and the boon-granting Ganesha of Siddhivinayak – can stay rational? That other me, the irrational me that showered and dressed and drove to work today, watches news reports of the Prime Minister talking to his wannabe successor to work out travel plans [Shall we go to Mumbai together or separately? Prime Ministerial plane or commercial airliner? Window seat or aisle?] and wonders, don’t you guys have anything more important, more immediate, to do? Does Mumbai really need, want, either or both of you to regurgitate the cud of banality, to trot out prefabricated statements on the order of ‘The country must come together to resist this threat to its security?
Falstaff comments on the relentless media coverage, and if someone has stopped to think about how it might end up helping the attackers:
It’s a particularly bad idea because it seems to me that most media channels are too busy trying to sensationalize the news to bother thinking through the consequences of what they’re saying. It’s not just that much of the coverage seems to be designed to amplify the general hysteria and panic, it’s also that watching journalists describe what the police are doing or report on who is still trapped inside the hotels, I find myself wondering whether anyone’s considered that at least some of that information might be helping the attackers.
Posted by Wendy Stackhouse