The Instigator
Pro (for)
12 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

This house believes, "Media is vicious" (India)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2014 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,052 times Debate No: 55741
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




Media is a wide reaching tool that shapes opinions and mood, and in a democracy like India it is important not to be swept away by opinions which are planted by the media but see for yourself and formulate an opinion. The media is so powerful and influential that it has even been compared to god himself. However, media has come to misuse this power, fabricating news to suit itself. The debate will center around is whether media is vicious or true, honest and sincere in the way it works.


Please make your case.
Debate Round No. 1


JUDGES PLEASE NOTE: Round 2 is exclusively for arguments, Round 3 will be for rebuttal and closing statements.

"The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological control - 'indoctrination,' we might say - exercised through the mass media." Noam Chomsky
Sensationalism may include reporting about generally insignificant matters and events that don't influence overall society and biased presentations of newsworthy topics in a trivial or tabloid manner.
Furthermore, the content and subject matter typically doesn't affect the lives of the masses and doesn't affect society, and instead is broadcast and printed to attract viewers and readers. Examples include press coverage about the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal, Casey Anthony Trial, Tonya Harding's role in the attack of Nancy Kerrigan, the Elian Gonzalez affair and the O.J. Simpson murder case.
There is tendency for the press to play up and dwell on stories that are sensational - murders, car crashes, kidnappings, sex scandals and the like.
"In a study by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 80% of the American public said they believe "journalists chase sensational stories because they think it will sell papers, not because they think it is important news." Another 85% of the public believes that "newspapers frequently over-dramatize news stories just to sell more papers." Over 80% believe sensational stories receive lots of news coverage simply because they are exciting, not because they are important.
"78% of the public thinks journalists enjoy reporting on the personal failings of private officials.
"48% of the public sees misleading headlines in their paper more than once a week.
2.Misrepresentation of facts / High level of inaccuracy
Public confidence in the media, already low, continues to slip. A poll by USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup found only 36 % of Americans believe news organizations get the facts straight, compared with 54 % in mid-1989.
According to an in-depth study by the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1999, 23 % of the public find factual errors in the news stories of their daily paper at least once a week while more than a third of the public - 35 % - see spelling or grammar mistakes in their newspaper more than once a week. The study also found that 73 % of adults in America have become more skeptical about the accuracy of their news.
The Columbia Journalism Review and the nonprofit, nonpartisan research firm Public Agenda polled 125 senior journalists nationwide in 1999 on various questions. When asked: "Have you ever seriously suspected a colleague of manufacturing a quote or an incident?" a disturbingly high 38 % answered yes.

Of the roughly 1,500 daily newspapers in the U.S., "Only a handful"at most a dozen, including The Washington Post"actually have a reporter who covers the press full-time as a beat. What critical reporting exists, though at times is refreshingly good, it is for the most part timid and superficial. About 15 papers have an ombudsman on staff to respond to readers' complaints. When it comes to looking at itself, society's watchdog is a lamb," according to Sydney Schanberg, one of the most respected journalists of this era, he has been a reporter for The New York Times for more than twenty-five years, and recipient of many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.
Schanberg adds: It's no secret that journalism in America has become more slipshod and reckless, at times promiscuous.... Every journalist surely also knows that the old-time standards...have been weakened if not discarded. Most of us in the business, however, stand by as mere observers....
If this were happening in any other profession or power center in American life, the media would be all over the story, holding the offending institution up to a probing light. When law firms breach ethical canons, Wall Street brokerages cheat clients or managed-care companies deny crucial care to patients, we journalists consider it news and frequently put it on the front page. But when our own profession is the offender, we go soft.
By failing to cover ourselves, we have made ourselves complacent, virtually assured that because we are not likely to be scrutinized by our peers, we are safe in our careless or abusive practices."
The unwillingness on the part of the media to monitor itself leaves the readers in a quandary of the question that is the media ready to investigate itself?
4.Media breeding ground for prejudice
Take a couple of popular TV drama serials or soap operas. What roles do women or ethnic minority characters play in them? Are any of them obviously "stereotyped"? Why do stereotypes seem to be so necessary? Why is the media promoting these stereotypes? Inciting and adding fuel to the oppression of the minorities.
For example, why do the media follow this block that a studious student has to have Asian roots. Why does a man of North East India need to be shown as a servant or domestic help in Bollywood movies?
I see the media as the primary source of prejudices such as racism and sexism because it is the media that shows minorities or less powerful groups in society in a negative way.
In most countries, the popularity of TV programmes is measured by "ratings". Viewers have meters attached to their TV sets to show when it is turned on; and some have "people meters" that show who is in the room at the time. This information is multiplied to give an estimate of the overall audience. This information is vital for advertisers, who want to know how many people are watching and what kind of people they are. TV companies also use it to know how much to charge advertisers for screening their ads. The logic is simple " more the viewers, more the TRP. More TRP means expensive ad slots therefore more cash, what do you think are the limitations of this system?
And then the motto of one of the many unethical organization of media says, "Let truth prevail",(referring to Times of India)Interestingly they never tell us what that truth is, and to me the most pragmatic conclusion as to what the truth is the Target rating point, TRP is the name of the game.
The limitation and fallacy are simple, that media is a tool of commercial profit and they have been compromising on the quality of the news.
"Only 47 % of journalists surveyed felt their publications were improving.
"Only 39 % felt their newspapers were usually very interesting to read.
"A remarkably low 21 % felt their newspapers were connecting very well with readers.
What more can I say? Journalists have themselves admitted to a sharp decline in the quality of reporting and the newspapers they work for or edit.
Media are mere puppets of the government or the opposition, the discretion, of course lies with the one who comes up with a bigger cheque.
But the bottom line is we ultimately hear what they want us to hear or what their sponsors want us to hear.
Journalists often claim that they are representing the world objectively, without showing their own point of view. But think about it, is objectivity ever present?Well, to conclude, I'm reminded of a great simple satire written by Vikram Seth, the frog and the nightingale, where the nightingale is innocent, though, naive enough to allow the frog to exploit her, make money from her songs, the end result: the nightingale dies a sad death, while the frog croaks away to glory. Similarly, even in our lives. The media is like the 'ever-croaking' frog and we like the gullible nightingale. Following, blindly believing, and counting on this wicked and vicious force "the media. PRIMARY SOURCE
"Issue Area: Sensationalism." Fairness & Accuracy


baus forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Well, l would have loved to rebut some arguments, however con's disappearing act has mesmerized us all.

There isn't anything else to say, vote for Pro.


baus forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Ragnar 7 years ago
Con is gone.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by NiamC 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: FF

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