Gore on Indian TV Channels after Mumbai Blasts

TV images on the Indian news channels in the aftermath of the Mumbai blasts have been disturbing, to say the least. Body parts, dead bodies, blood, weeping relatives … nothing has been spared and beamed constantly. Many bloggers have questioned the practice that they feel is just amied at getting higher ratings.

Mumbai Help issued one of the first calls to desist showing gore in the name of journalism.

Kishore at All in a Day's Work poses this question:

With a mind blowing number of news channels cropping up, each showing different angles of the same news, spiced up with suspense filled animated figures re-enacting the events forming the news and a live feed straight from the happening place, a very fundamental question pops up in my mind. Can news reporting be equated with entertainment? The Reality shows and stuff?

News describes some of the gore and I find it quite chilling:

The CNN-IBN screen was full of blood during the Mumbai blast coverage. Rajdeep was anchoring from one of the bombed first class coaches. He kept on pointing at and showing blood splashed window glasses of the train for a good 10 minutes. As if this was not enough, what followed were blood smeared bodies of injured people. Then there were limbs and other body parts of the dead on the platforms and rail tracks. Blood blood and more blood. One thing needs to be checked: is the Indian audience ready for so much blood on screen? Or better still is it okay to pour so much blood into people's living rooms?

Surya has a very relevant uggestion for all:

Plz people (Specially Media) show some concern and accountability..Stop sensationalising the things and give ur constructive contribution in facing this challenge rather then thinking about TRP rating…God Bless !!!

Sujatha at Blogpurri puts a particular news channel under scanner.

CNN/IBN cannot get over itself. In the middle of the coverage of the Mumbai blasts, Rajdeep Sardesai could not prevent himself from repeatedly reminding his viewers (and at one point, his reporter as well) that the images were being carried live on CNN world wide. He was practically salivating over the fact that one of his reporters happened to be on one of the trains on which the blasts occurred and couldn't stop smiling at this stroke of fortune.

Prashanth has the following question to ask:

But, what I don't understand is why on earth these media have to show all those bloodstained photos and videos. Just for the heck of publicity. Just to make a name in the media world?

Dhoomketu is equally irritated with the images flashed on the screen.

Thus, it's time to rant about TV. Close ups of the dead bodies, which should be captured and pasted all over Rajdeep Sardesai's house were not the only distasteful sight on TV. Advertisements for houses (Flats at Bhiwadi, Lucknow etc. from Mtech developers, thank you, on IndiaTV), underwear (Dollarclub Innerwear on Aajtak) and education institutes (Coaching classes on Zee News) proved that whatever happens in this world, the commercial spirit will not flag.

Pooja watched it in the US and felt for people back home.:

The Indian Media seriously needs to reconsiders what they show – the other night when I switched to Zee News to see how things were in Mumbai (Sitting in US, that is my one source of information on India besides reading news online), I was stunned. They were actually showing dead bodies lying on the track and injured people being dragged to rescue. Even sitting this far from my country, I could not help but feel for everyone back home who were probably seeing these images continuously and how disturbing they must be for everyone. I mean I understand the gravity of the situation and how shocking it is for everyone, how painful it is for everyone, but to rub it in like this – it is just not warranted.

Amrit points out that such was the haste to show the images that a few of them had to apologise later.

I’m putting national in quotes because they are supposed to be “reputed” channels. They are tripping over each other trying to show images and small video clips sent to them by what they call the “citizen journalists” and they are in such a hurry to show the pictures that even as known a journalist as Barkha Datt on NDTV “apologized” that they didn’t have enough time to edit the shocking pictures and video clips.

I think a serious debate is required on this issue as this has not happened for the first time.

1 comment

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