I guess it was some two years ago that I came across this one in some blog. It showed how some of even the best brands of the Indian media industry, sometimes fail to exercise even a minimal sense of prudence in the way they dish out news. Check this out:
Though there must have been some arcane and remote rationale behind presenting this particular news in the ‘entertainment’ section of this news paper, common sense dictates otherwise. Absolute common sense.
Anyway, that is about the Indian Media and News industry – one that has become a butt of jokes than a power to reckon with like CNN or BBC. Even NDTV, the channel that was considered to be a little more professional and worthy of even being considered as a challenger brand in this category has pandered to mass sensationalism in the resent past. Barkha Dutt’s minute by minute coverage of the Mumbai bombing episode would be remembered as one of the most misguided and ill conceived acts of journalism in the history of Indian News Industry.
It is in this context that I am saddened to find that even google can be a source of such slips. Google – a company that has assumed massive proportions of global muscle (it shall be remembered as the only entity till now that has succeeded at fluttering China’s feathers with economic and geo political implications), has come to assume the status of the Digital Big Brother of the world – like the one in George Orwell’s 1984, with it’s sphere of influence ranging from search, mails, social networking, real time news aggregation, blogs to maps and GPS systems that can potentially track you anywhere and everyhere.
Given this level of reach and influence that it wields over us, it is, but expected that it undertake every endeavor to safeguard its moral high ground with responsibility and integrity. But the recent slips from the part of Google News – a real time news aggregation platform have compelled me to cast aspersions over the laxity in the logic behind its world altering algorithms.
News categorization and presentation, it seems is a very low priority in Google News algorithm. I normally go to Google News India portal to get a pulse of just about everything for the moment from Political, Economic, Business, Health, Sports and Entertainment news about India. But the other day I was a little surprised and even a little amused to find news about the resignation of AP ministers over the Telangana issue under the entertainment section. Check this out:
Ofcourse, given my sense of mistrust and disrespect of Indian politics (of which I am not proud about), it really amused me to find this news in this section. On a lighter vein, I even wondered if the Google News algorithm has in fact did this on a deliberate note, given the large spread sentiment about the Telangana issue (that has literally become a parody of Indian politics).
But today (17 Jan 2010), when I went to http://news.google.co.in/, for my dose of Indian news, I was aghast to find this in the Entertainment Section of the portal:
OK, I am not a fan of any politician in India and worse still those of West Bengal. But I was really surprised to see the news of Jyoti Basu’s sinking health under the Entertainment section of Google News.