We live in a democratic world where the fourth estate enjoys unlimited freedom. In many cases, it is the press that decides key events of the state. And without the media we wouldnt be where we are today.
However, as with all the competition at every place, press is a very very cut-throat competitive world and it is essential for every mediaperson to pull the necessary stunt that grabs audience to his/her story. For a news is a static fact and it is only the time & presentation of the presenter that builds or collapses a network. And to win in this competiton, media resorts to every possible methodology, sometimes going overboard.I got agitated in the morning when I visited the Rediff India Abroad, a really wonderful NRI website that I alongwith millions of others visit regularly. The reason was that the headline blasted Delhi blasts toll is 59,200 injured. For a moment it appeared as if the death toll was actually 59,200. Unable to believe this, I clicked on the main story, where the headline still remained the same. Only then I looked at the cleverly placed comma between 59 and 200 - which was actually stating that the death toll was 59 and the injured numbered to 200. I breathed a sigh of relief that it was not what I had dreaded the numbers to be.
A few minutes later, Raman pinged me and said that he had also mistaken the headline the same way I had. I realized that it was not just me who made the mistake. Rediff could have rephrased the headline in many other ways so that it could have given the clear message. To start with, they could have had a semicolon instead of the comma !! I got super pissed and logged into Rediff and blasted the lousy headline on their comments section - for it was misleading and a stupid attempt to grab attention over a incident that was horrible and killed people. And for all the claim that the press/media makes about freedom of speech and writing, Rediff hasnt published my comment until now.
The press should stop making such lousy and manipulative attention grabbers over incidents that have caused pain and anguish. Rediff is not the isolated one on this of course - each and ever media center from Sun TV to Indian Express to all these American news networks do this dramatization of incidents to climb on their viewership ratings. They should stop making catchy headlines on sensitive incidents that have punctured the lives of hundreds of fellow human beings.
Rediff - unimpressive, unprofessional, bad taste and cheap-publicity.