Viewer Discretion Required: The Reality of ‘New’ media

Importance of Viewer Discretion to cope up with prevailing media bias

You switch on the news channel and see a person shouting at the highest of his lungs trying his best to make you think that the establishment is ‘always’ right. You flip the channel and are welcomed by a man who barely resembles Imran Khan, mimicking the Pakistani PM. Yet one more channel flip and comes a person on your TV screen, taking sarcastic digs at the screaming anchor while propagating his agenda.

News media in today’s context holds a particularly complex place. While there is no denying that in a democratic country, journalism and news act as power balancers and checkers. The commercialisation of news that has come up to be the truth as a consequence of competition and TRP races, has caused sensationalisation of stories. So something like PM visiting his mother is given more coverage than a crucial subject. Not just this but the increasing competition has also led to journalism counting on political parties for funds, thus biased news presentation.

Social Media: The New News Source
Social Media: The New News Source

For a short time, social media sites were considered the perfect successor. Since social media didn’t believe TRP’s, it had been assumed that bias wouldn’t seep in there. But social media comes with its perils. In some other context, the ‘personalised content’ trait of Social Media would be appreciated but within the context of stories, personalised content causes you to sleep in a bubble. You’ll be shown the content, you engage the foremost with. So if you follow leftist accounts, your opinion will progress from what’s shown as facts on those accounts. Which entirely kills the motive of stories within the first place. News should only present events as they’re happening. What to form of it should dwell in the hands of the audience, which, unfortunately, isn’t the case, right now. Social Media has also caused a faster spread of lies. Independent journalism, that became a fad with youngsters like Dhruv Rathee and Pratik Sinha could have brought change but even then the importance of viewer discretion can’t be neglected.

Need of the hour is that the ‘spectator’ becomes the ‘questioner’.

Ravish Kumar, Journalist, NDTV

The circumstances that we live in mandates every citizen to actively pursue true news. To become what they call, “active citizens”. To understand everything about everything and keep an open mind with well-formed opinions. As a citizen of a democratic country like India, it’s our responsibility to not just receive news but actively engage with it. We can not stop watching the news altogether since it’s only when we hear differing opinions that we get to introspect and see if we truly believe in what we are saying. The trick is to seek out a balance between the consumption of news and it’s analysis.

India to set about “Unlock 2.0”: Is it favourable for the nation?

Humans have never-ending plans. Before the Corona infection overturned our world, we hurried and blustered every day, so as not to fall behind our relentless timetables: To comply with the dreaded time constraints, remain on top of things, guarantee we push us ahead in the rat race. Furthermore, at that point as different governments forced lockdowns over the globe, life, as we probably know came into a stop.

The whole nation stayed under lockdown till May 31, 2020, followed by Unlock-down stage 1 from June 1 and June 14. Up to May 31, was the Lockdown 4.0. Before the Lockdown 3.0 was up to May 17, Lockdown 2.0 was up to May 3, and before that, the Lockdown 1.0 was from March 22 to April 16, 2020.

The government has found a way to resume important activities which will support the economy. Among the necessary steps declared as a part of Unlock 1.

PM Narendra Modi declared open measures with certain relaxations. As per experts, this is being done to guarantee that the Food Safety of India is ensured as Rabi gathering season is about to approach in our country. PM Modi said complete rules have to be remembered in the necessities of the casual sectors and ranching sector. India currently joined nations, for example, France and the USA which are moving with open stages after stretching lockdown.

The declaration comes in the wake of arising COVID 19 cases in India. As of June 13, there were over 310,000 affirmed cases of Covid-19, out of which 155,000 have recuperated. The pandemic has caused over 9000 demises. PM said that States have likewise requested the expansion of the lockdown and some have just extended it. Odisha, Telangana, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh have just extended the lockdown with certain relaxations for boosting economic growth.

With 19 days of ‘Unlock 1.0′ effectively ended, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has solicited Chief Ministers and executives from all states and Union Territories to concentrate on “Unlock 2.0’.

The management on Monday night gave rules for the month-long ‘Unlock 2.0’ — the “stage re-opening” of exercises that had been banned to control the coronavirus spread in the nation.

The Union Home Ministry has reported rules for Unlock 2.0 and said it has chosen to open up more exercises outside the containment zones while keeping up that there will be severe restrictions of lockdown in the containment zones.

The new rules given for Unlock 2.0 got effective from July 1. The govt. said with this, the procedure of phased re-opening of exercises in the nation has been additionally extended. “The new rules depend on input got from states and UTs, and broad counsels held with related central ministers and units,” the govt. said in an announcement.

The central government’s declaration of Unlock 2.0 comes when three of the most affected states- – Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal- – have reported an expansion of the lockdown. The Maharashtra government today gave a request saying lockdown in the state has been stretched out till July 31.

Guidelines for “Unlock 2.0”

1. Worship places, lodgings, eateries, and shopping centres will be permitted to stay open outside the control zones — as they were in Unlock 1.0.

2. Shops can have more than 5 people at a time— clearly not in highly affected zones. Be that, as it may, they need to keep up the satisfactory physical distance.

3. Schools, universities, and coaching foundations will stay shut till July 31, 2020.

4. The metro facility will likewise stay shut.

5. Film halls, gym, pools, diversion parks, theatres, bars, amphitheatres, gathering halls and comparable spots won’t open.

6. Night Curfew will be enforced, between 10.00 pm and 5 am, except for important exercises and other activities as given in Unlock 2.

7. There will be more trains and flights — which will be declared in the days to come.

8. Lockdown will keep on being implemented carefully in the containment zones till July 31. These zones are required to be painstakingly separated by the state, UT governments with the end goal of controlling the spread of COVID-19, in the wake of mulling over the rules gave by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

9. Inside the containment zones, severe border control will be kept up and just basic exercises permitted.

10. Training Academy of the Central and State Governments will be permitted to work with effect from July 15, 2020.

Pros and Cons of “Unlock 2.0”             

1. Massive upliftment of India’s fallen Economy: Lockdown may have cost the Indian economy Rs 7-8 lakh core during the consecutive period, analysts and industry bodies have said. Lockdown that brought as much as 70 per cent of economic activity, investment, exports and discretionary consumption to a standstill have now started to scale up. World Bank has scaled down India’s gross domestic growth (GDP) growth projection to 1.5-2.8 per cent for the current fiscal year, which would be the lowest economic expansion since the balance of payments crisis of 1991-92, as Covid-19 rapidly bought down activities in the already slowing economy. It had earlier projected the growth to be 6.1 per cent for 2020-21.

2. Sufferings of the Migrant workers are slowly upgrading: More than 90% of the country’s manpower is evaluated to be from the informal sector. The proclamation left little or almost no time for preparation for daily workers who were forced to move back to their hometowns, hundreds of kilometres afoot as their sources of earnings had drained but now as the unlock has been proclaimed many MSME sectors are reopened and now that they have been opened they require labourers and employees to run their business. This will give help the workers for their daily earnings

3. The death toll for MSME Sector will regain: The Economic Survey of 2017-2018 had said 87% of the companies in the country, representing 21% of the total turnover, are managing informally and completely out of the formal system. Without help, this sector would be extinguished. They don’t have monetary support and labour to cast their factories and works, and the supply chain is also deranged. but now as the unlock has started the MSME sector will regain its buoyancy.

4. Panic and Fear in Citizens seems to get abated: When the Central government declared lockdown, it ingrained a ton of dread in the brains of the individuals and prompted alarm purchasing since the management had not referenced what was remembered for the rundown of essential things yet now that the unlock has started by the administration the psychological pressure will dropdown.

The issue, states may contend, is once again, over-centralization of pandemic regulation measures. The pandemic flare-up graph is at different coordinates in different states and all states are as needs be taking measures to control them. It is in this setting lockdown has been re-forced in urban areas, for example, Bangalore and Chennai as of late even as the remainder of the nation is opening up for increasingly more movement. While states, for example, UP and Haryana have irregularly set the seal on their borders with

Delhi on multiple times in the past couple months, different states have taken such a choice visa vis their neighbouring states or between locale development as of late and may need to pull back the same.

For instance, as of late on June 29, Mumbai fixed its borders with its rural areas. On June 27, Tamil Nadu fixed its borders with Karnataka. Rajasthan reported on June 10 that it was fixing its outskirts and between state development of open would be permitted dependent on passes given by the management. Because of rising cases in Gujarat, Daman fixed its outskirts with the state.

Every one of these states and UTs have contended that they needed to make these choices as a result of rising cases of COVID and their investigation showed the contamination was originating from the neighbouring states.

The clash between health and economy during Unlock

The Unlock bought the basic trade-off among health and economy matters. With each week, the infection dangers may go under better control, yet at the expense of the economy. Getting the economy to continue, then again, adds to the danger of a quicker spread of the pandemic, since economic actions will, by definition, will force individuals to come out of their homes and manage others, utilize public vehicle and accumulate in a big public gathering.

The rabi crop is expected for the harvest in the current month, and a bumper crop is normal. On the off chance that we accept that some poor individuals in India rely upon the ranch segment for vocations, we can’t trust that the lockdown will end before the collect is brought to mandis, moved to storehouses, and offered to customers.

This implies horticulture, agro-industry, and coordinations expected to move out of the lockdown. When farming is allowed to work, producing too will require a leave strategy, as fundamental things like quick moving purchaser merchandise will probably observe a spike demand. Eventually, a division by-part approach will stop to have significance, for all items have flexibly chains that incorporate different ventures which may not qualify as “essential” under the official definition. For instance: packaging. Furthermore, would products be able to move without administrations? Will trucks, say, move without carports to support them? What’s more, to what extent would we be able to proceed without household or individual administrations like circuit repairmen, handymen or hairdressers?

In any case, before we gradually grow financial activities and individuals movement, the first and greatest speculation to make is in mass physical protection items. This implies accommodating everybody essential cotton covers that can be washed and sanitized at home. Likewise, hand sanitizers.

At last, in times like this, we all need to come together to support our communities and the efforts made by our health care warriors, NGOs and the management.

The Unlock 2.0

The state of India has been under restrictions since March 25th. The nation has observed various phases Lockdown 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and then unlock which is scheduled to be a 5 phased issue. Yesterday the Central government announced guidelines for unlock 2.0. A few essential questions emerge, which need to be answered.

Why Unlock? Are the timings to unlock poor?

India has too high a test positivity rate, about 10%. India started easing restrictions at a time when about 10000 cases we’re emerging every day, so the question arises: why unlock then?

The answer to this question can be decoded by the mere fact that GDP (Gross Domestic Product) prediction of India slipped about a straight 9 percent.

  • Many state governments we’re running at the extreme shortage of money.
  • Services were facing serious high pressure due to restrictions.
  • Government-funded services were made to come at a halt.
  • The seriousness of citizens to follow the norms was dipping.
  • The psychological reason was that after spending about 2 months in lockdown, naming the next set of restrictions as Unlock gave people a ray of hope.

What will be open?

Next question is that what will be open in Unlock 2.0

 In areas other than Containment Zones, all activities will be allowed, except the following:

  • Schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till end of July. Online learning will be encouraged. Training institutions of the Central and State Governments will be allowed to operate from 15 July, 2020, for which Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Department of Personnel & Training.
  • International air travel, except for passengers as permitted by Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large public gatherings.
  • Metro Trains
  • Cinema halls, entertainment parks, theatres, gymnasium, swimming pools, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.

Date of further changes will be announced as and when required.

Night curfew

Movement of individuals shall remain restricted in between 10.00 pm to 5.00 am, except for essential activities. Local authorities must issue guidelines, in the entire area under their jurisdiction with appropriate provisions of the law such as under section 144 , and ensure strict compliance.

States Government to decide on activities outside Containment Zones

States and UTs, by their observation of the situation, can restrict certain activities outside Containment zones, or impose restrictions as felt necessary. There must be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movements. No separate permit will be required for such movements.

Lockdown limited to Containment Zones

  • Lockdown shall continue to remain in effect in the Containment Zones till 31 July, 2020.
  • In the containment zones, perimeter control must be maintained and only essential services allowed.
  • Activities in the Containment Zones will be monitored strictly by the authorities, and the guidelines shall be strictly implemented.
  • MOHFW will monitor the proper situation handling of Containment Zones and the implementation of the containment norms.

Vulnerable persons, persons above age of 65, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, and children below the age group of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except when deemed necessary.

by Shubham Yadav

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