I Think: Journalists should cover stories they feel no one cares about
Srinivasan, HIV/AIDS activist, Chennai
My name is Srinivasan. My family has accepted me for who I am [a member of the LGBTQ+ community] and I am very comfortable in my skin. I am currently working as a social worker for the Indian Community Welfare Organisation (ICWO) in Chennai. I work to create awareness about HIV/AIDS.
As soon as I wake up I switch on the news on TV, though I’m not really into reading the papers. I usually watch only the regional news channels. The media is the only way to know what is happening in the world.
We would never know if a rapist is convicted or let go if not for the media. So I do respect the media to a certain extent. But I feel that fake news is prevalent nowadays. I also think that the media blows things out of proportion at times. They are so voyeuristic and sensationalise a lot of things. This can have dire consequences for a rape victim and her family. It makes me feel such anger. Following up on and showing the victim’s family again and again is very wrong — according to me, it is done only to gain viewership. They should leave them be.
The media should also look at what is happening in villages. Find out what is happening to the people there. If they cover just the cities and ignore rapes in villages, and later blame the government for all the crimes that happen there, it is a hypocritical. The government can help only if the media does more work and broadens its horizons. I also feel that media should not make the government look quite so bad in front of the people… because the people make the government.
The last rape case I came across was in Vizhupuram. A small child was gang-raped. And it really pained me. I can’t understand why things like this happen even now. There are enough sex workers for men to take out their frustration. Why they would take it out on an innocent child is beyond me.
Some news stories like this never come out. This particular story came in one paper, if I’m not wrong. I am pretty sure it was not even considered by other channels or papers, because who is going to care? Who is going to care if a child or a woman or even an infant gets raped in a place that is miles away from your home? It would make me happy if the stories that need attention come out.
Rape is truly a huge issue in our country. The court has passed a law that allows people to live with or be with whoever they choose. Why would a person still want to act barbaric? Especially towards children or the physically/mentally challenged.
It is true that giving death penalty to a person is wrong. But when children are sexually assaulted, they are either mentally or physically scarred, or they die. When things like that happen, our emotions take over and I do think that rapists deserve to die. And who can blame me?
I feel that ever since mobile phones and other technology came in, rape seems to have increased. Maybe it was there all along and we are realizing just now. There are these A-rated movies and scenes and porn out there that have corrupted the minds of people, according to me. And this has contributed to the increase in rape. Parents need to be mindful of what their kids do. The media can help by censoring things to a great extent.
If I were a journalist, I would focus a lot on the rapist rather than the victim. I will want to make sure he gets what he deserves. Otherwise crimes like this will continue and increase. But I would also make sure that the accused’s family is not put to task for the crimes he committed.
I would like to advise journalists, especially the ones on TV, to stop holding debates on what is right and not right. I would ask them to get down to business and go cover that one story they think people don’t care about.