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Where is Tanu Sharma and does she gets justice?

One more media personality gets isolated and neglected by its own fraternity. No one knows where is Tanu Sharma. They were making it big issue on social network, but as new issues came up this matter has been taken a back seat. I was surprised, why media has not taken Tanu Sharma’s issue as strong as they are taking any other sensitive issues. Why media is silent over their peer’s problems? Why they don’t want justice for the victim anchor, who belongs to the same fraternity. The attempted suicide by Tanu Sharma of India TV news channel raises several questions on the integrity of media houses and news channels. No one has the answer.

Sharma subjected to regular ill-treatment at work, demeaned and mortified and asked to go ‘meet’ powerful people, with shady, possibly sexual, implications. India TV responded by saying she was over-stating what had actually happened. Only an investigation will show the truth, Rajat Sharma gone aggressive issuing notices to many news portals who published about Tanu Sharma, but never came open in answering the allegations made by her. Media firms behave like this not only for the revenue from big business houses and politicians, but because the media has become the part of the present corporate system. The corporate media will only try to justify and protect the new order of exploitation. If you were to observe the pattern of presentation on Hindi news channels, you would think there is some sort of mitosis at play; that one super anchor has duplicated into many identical anchors. Electronic channels present less news and more glamorous faces, these faces become marketing tool for channels. Once these anchors get addicted to makeup, camera and glamour of show business then they compromise to sustain on screen, which leads them to disaster.

To maintain themselves on camera year after year becomes challenge for them. The age grows day by day; their utility to channel is nothing but their glamour. New faces make entries, and to sustain with new and fresh faces is really a task for a female news anchors. Reporter’s fate is not different from anchors; however they don’t have to go through this kind of situation. Many a times, they all look the same, sound the same, and shout at the same decibel level. The Hindi channel newsroom is one big factory where everyone has to pass the conformity test of group cohesion. Any attempt to break away from that norm is to stare at an interpersonal abyss. Both Hindi and English News channels have lost its purpose. Anchors and guests with few exceptions are having political affiliations and if they think public don’t understand their affiliations then they are mistaken. Many people have stopped watching news as it is not intellectually stimulating. It is not difficult to understand that majority of reporters and news anchors lack the kind of erudition required when reporting news to the general public.

This crumble in journalism has worsened and in its own way facilitated by a society that is growing more and more entrepreneurial day by day. The faculty of discerning between sense and breathtaking seems to be thrown to the wind. The best thing a common man can do to abate this decay is by shutting down the idiot box when he sees such gimmicks being played. On a positive note; the audiences are fairly well aware of this phenomenon and therefore market for unbiased media exists. Until someone with the vision and deep pockets steps forward to fill that void, the social media will serve as the truth filter. Media has been the most important element to the impetus of change. It has helped India break the shackles of British rule. Corruption of such a pious organisation has led to a sense of paranoia and mistrust. There was a cut throat competition between these news channels, but now it has taken a downhill road. The news shown depends on the TRPs, rather than the duty to project the truth. The truth presented is twisted to such an extent that it benefits the channel and creates a sense of insecurity among the masses. These news channels are presenting the views (mostly one sided) either of the editor or the promoter. The viewers do not really get an opportunity to think and form an opinion about the events around us.

Media, be it print or television are corrupt. Media has simply come to believe that they can decide the fate of the country in a way they want and are grossly underestimating the people of this great country. Media therefore should introspect and correct itself for a meaningful and worthwhile role in this country. In India, powerful corporations are becoming major influences on mainstream media. Major business groups own media stations and outlets thus crippling press freedom. It is dangerous to allow politicians and business houses joining hands with a purpose and influence public opinion. The fallout of this is a reduction in diversity, depth of content, fair and free flow of information, while it increases the political and economic power of corporations. In a functioning democracy, an informed population is a crucial element. The role of media in the recent Lok Sabha election should in fact hold a big lesson. There are indications that an anchor from one such channel fell into this abyss recently and almost drowned in it. Facing harassment from her superiors, Tanu Sharma of India TV tried to end her life. In her own words, she got tired of “being brave.” Her story has been picked up by editors and other TV professionals, most of whom are no longer with the medium. But from within, there has been no shamefacedness so far. It is very likely that Ms Sharma will be dubbed as the one who could not withstand the pressures of “live television.”

Social media is protesting against India TV and Rajat Sharma but not that aggressively as they did it at the time of #Nirbhaya incidence or Jessica Lal’s verdict. Tanu’s mistake is that she is alive and we have become insensitive for living person. Whatever, this is time we should act and create ripples in abuser media owners seeking justice for Tanu Sharma.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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