Dear Mr. Vir Sanghvi,
I read your blog post on “bloggers and tweeters” with great interest, for I am also one of those people who blog and tweet. You do both too, I notice, and some may think it is ironic that your own views were in the form of a blog post. But perhaps you believe that blogging should only be done by journalists?
You ask about me and other anonymous bloggers :
I will wonder: just who do you guys represent? Are you speaking on behalf of viewers and readers? Or are you just another anonymous elite that feels emboldened to pass judgement on the rest of the world from the darkness of your rooms?
Perhaps you don’t understand this, but I speak for just myself and no one else. I have not been elected by any one to represent them or their views. What’s more, I am not even a self-appointed representative; I don’t delude myself that I speak for some silent majority of people who may or may not agree with me. I didn’t even realize I needed to be “emboldened” to blog, is speaking out something that should fill me with fear ?
You defend the media obsession with TRPs by saying:
When bloggers tell you that TV channels are only interested in TRPs, what are they saying?
In effect, they are saying that TV channels are only interested in reaching as many people as possible.
And why is this a bad thing?
Or, look at it another way. If a programme gets high TRPs, then this means that lots of ordinary people have liked it. The ordinary people may be right or wrong to have liked it – I pass no value judgements here – but the fact that they liked it is a reflection on them, not on the TV channel. So, why blame the channel? Why not blame the viewers?
Did I read that right? The light may be dark here, but Mr. Sanghvi, are you really saying that any programme with high TRPs (or potentially high TRPs) is fit to be broadcast?
If so, here are a few categories of content that will get very high TRPs. Celebrity gossip sells – I mean rumors, paparazzi pictures, speculation about “famous” people and so on. Another category that is very popular among some people – porn. Soft porn, suggestive photos, lingerie clad models – these are very popular in a certain segment. But you don’t have to take my word for it; I don’t claim to speak for your audience.
But tell me, Mr. Sanghvi, if your audience research suggests that celebrity gossip and soft-porn will increase your TRPs, will you include them in your programming? If adding hard porn and graphic violence will help you tap yet another segment and increase your TRPs even more, will you add them too? Please tell me, I would be very interested in your answers.
I believe that the news media’s job is to educate and not to titillate, but again, that is just my personal opinion. You are free to disagree.
You also say:
Such is the arrogance of the blogging elite these days that even when it attacks journos, it is effectively dissing the vast majority of media readership and viewership.
I’m sorry, Mr. Sanghvi, but sitting in my darkened room, I didn’t realize that attacking journos is equal to attacking readers. I suppose then, by the same logic, attacking politicians is equal to attacking the voters who voted for them? Maybe you should stop saying anything against any elected representative then – you don’t want to disparage voters, do you?
Perhaps you should darken your room too, Mr. Sanghvi, the light is blinding.