Saturday, May 2, 2015

Red Ink Awards

Yesterday I attended the Mumbai Press Club's Red Ink Awards for journalism. In its fifty year running, I attended it for the first time. Railways minister Suresh Prabhu was the chief guest and gave away the awards. NDTV's Prannoy Roy for the Lifetime Achievement award. Caravan magazine swept away the awards winning in multiple categories across many of its writers. Scroll.com won the start-up media awards. Menace Doshi of the CNBC-tv18 was the host of the evening.

For me, the highlight of the evening was Prannoy Roy's acceptance speech. He said what I have been worried about for a long time. The tabloidation of media. He especially pointed out TV channels that appear to be tilting away towards that path; an example of which he said that he once saw a crime show where the lady anchor said, tripling her hair, "break ke baad ek rape dikhayange". Dr. Roy was  candid to point out the ugly crime shows on some of these channels. This is exactly what had me worried for the past few years.

While most English news channels are guilty of sacrificing real news in favour of debates (that are nothing but shouting matches), Hindi news channels may be accused of sensationalising. Ugly late-night crime shows appear to titilate the audiences. They are graphic and production quality is very poor. In highlighting such crime shows and TV channels' taboidation, Dr. Roy hit the nail on the head.

The show was very well organised. The venue was Jamshed Bhabha theatre at the NCPA. 

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