The 6 year old boy “Prince” who was trapped in a 53 feet deep 1.5 feet wide shaft and was rescued after a two days of ordeal, by the India Army. A great rescue accomplished, and a salute to everyone involved in the rescue mission.
After all this I have one little problem, and it has nothing to do with the approach taken in the rescue effort. My problem is with The Great Indian 24×7 News Channels and especially the ones that fall in the Hindi News category and the one channel that stands out in the whole episode is Star News. It’s the approach taken by the media that bothed me.
Agreed to the fact that the media attention expedited the rescue of the boy, even the army experts were called in to help. Very good till here, but they all went way beyond it. Showing an update on the boys condition every hour would have been fine, but why the heck do u need to dedicate the whole airtime to this incident. What’s more; other important stories like the Israel Offensive in Lebanon is just given just 5 minutes (this includes all other stories of the day too) and all the other time was spent interviewing anyone to everyone from the village where this incident happened.
As if this wasn’t enough they started a SMS campaign wanting all the viewers to send SMSs with their prayers for the boy and blah blah stuff. The only thing that went on was “Send us your Prayers (via SMS) and we will show them and that is what will save him.” What the heck? Is the rescue team going to save him or the sent SMSs.
What was more disturbing than this was the public reaction! Not jus that people were sending SMSs, but even organized public prayers and the news channels were there too, even beaming it live.
Finally the moment arrived when the boy was finally out and his ordeal over. So now here’s what came next, “Prince has been rescued. It was you prayers and SMSs that have helped the boy in this ordeal.” WHAT!!! Where did that kid have access to all this stuff, it was the rescuers who saved him and not these SMSs. All the SMSs have done is make the telecom companies and news channels a bit more richer.OH and now they want us to send them SMSs to congratulate the Rescue team, so that they can make more money!!!What happened to good old news reporting that didn’t need sensationalize everything?The Whole Rescue Incident.