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Media And The Youth

Media And The Youth

Media And The Youth

“Daddy, please leave the entertainment page for me, I need to know the latest filmy gossip, and read my horoscope” – trills a typical 20 year old before rushing off to college. Her father snorts with disdain, but leaves the entertainment page out for her anyway, before burying himself back in the newspaper. This is a common scene in most households today. In spite of being in the “Information age”, where the latest news from any part of the world is accessible to anyone and everyone at the touch of a button, the youth remain seriously misinformed. The only time they bother reading up regarding current affairs is when they need to prepare for CAT or the UPSC. And the percentage of this category of young people is very, very low.

A popular show on a famous youth channel shows how misinformed most youth are on basic things – like what the national song is, or the number of union Territories in India. Most companies who market their products through advertisements on TV, aim the youth as their primary segments, and seem to think that the youth is only obsessed with their looks, fashion, movies, and gossip. The Fair & Lovely Ads, for example, always show that for women to succeed – whether at securing a good match for marriage, impressing guys in general, or to get a job, they need to be beautiful and fair. Other ads show young women obsessing over pimples and skin tones continuously to become “socially acceptable”. There are ads that imply for men to be successful in their life, they need to reek of expensive perfumes, zoom around on bikes and cars, and deploy fairness creams. Spying on women changing in their bedrooms, and knocking over a baby over the stairs just because watching a movie on their mobile is more important, are some other ads in similar tunes. All of these seem to imply that the youth of today are selfish, empty headed and have no priorities or morals. There are very few sensible ads on TV, like the IDEA ads and the Tata Tea Jaagore campaign, which remind the youth of their capabilities and responsibilities towards the nation, the environment and society in general. These ads have contributed greatly to the cause they represent, which proves that the youth does have some sense of morality, contrary to popular belief.

Movies too, play an important role. For example, the OBC reservation bill, which was a bombshell dropped soon after the release of the movie “Rang De Basanti”. The movie inspired the youth of our country to find that lost purpose, and there was a nation-wide protest against reservations. Also, there was a contrary pro-reservation movement. But sadly, due to the everlasting time and resources the politicians possess, and the lack of time with the youth, the movement could not achieve much. Yet, it made the youth realise their power and potential.

The media and the youth together are the most powerful force of change in our country. The youth of the nation have the power to shape the future of the nation. The government definitely takes their opinions seriously, as the future voters of India. With a little focus, organisation and determination, the youth can bring about the change that is required in the country. The media is now a very powerful agent – with a reach to the entire nation. At least one of the means – TV, radio, newspapers and internet is accessible to every Indian. The media, with some amount of responsibility and diligence to report the things that are really important, and the absolute truth, can help the youth in being more aware and bring about change. Both of them have a lot of potential. What is really required is a change in attitude.

About Anindita Chatterjee

Career and Education: I am currently PGDM 2nd year student (operations) from K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and research, Mumbai. I had a prior work experience of almost 2 years at Verizon Data Services India, Hyderabad, where I served as a server administrator. My work involved troubleshooting all kinds of OS and Hardware problems with Windows 2003 servers. My graduation consists of BE in IT from CBIT, Hyderabad. Social: Born in Mumbai to Bengali parents, raised in Hyderabad, studying now in Mumbai, I am pretty much the PAN Indian. I love making friends and meeting new people, although I wouldn’t really call myself a social butterfly. I love writing, and am a voracious reader – be it fiction or non-fiction. I think that one of the biggest comforts in life is being able to curl up on the couch with a great, exciting new book after a day’s work. I also enjoy all kinds of music, and I am a complete movie buff. I realise that there are grey areas in most issues, but I do call a spade a spade, when it’s glaringly obvious. I believe in God, but I’m not religious. I feel that it’s important to focus on the purpose rather than the medium used to achieve the purpose.

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