How and who will stop yellow journalism?

Sivasagar, Prangan Duarah: An eye-catchy headline with big pictures can do wonders in attracting readers. Many of these eye-catching headlines seem unbelievable, but they probably peak your curiosity enough to make you want to look inside and read more. This type of reporting which attract more and more reader and increase the sale of a newspaper or magazine is known as yellow journalism. Yellow journalism, or the yellow press, is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism are a few techniques which are used in yellow journalism to attract readers. By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.

Frank Luther Mott, an American historian, and journalist who won Pulitzer Prize for History, defines yellow journalism in terms of five characteristics- often of minor news using scare headlines in huge print, lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings, use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts, emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements and usually with comic strips dramatic sympathy with the “underdog” against the system. From the beginning of the yellow journalism in late 1800, yellow journalism has a bad reputation for violating the fundamental aim of journalism. It is considered as a trap which is set by media channels to increase their TRP for more and more profit. It is one type of creativity of serving simple news with lots of spice and flavor in the news. The main problem of this type of journalism is it creates hypes. In India, yellow journalism creates lots of problems since many media channels use yellow journalism in a pathetic way. Reporting “Masaledar news” and half bake news become an essential part to increase TRP in the daily news channels. The way they are presenting simple news in a sensational way is pathetic. A few examples of headlines by leading Indian media channels are “aaj India TV pe hoga LIVE balatkaar”, “Obama ke sir par goli lagi” etc. The live coverage of Taj Hotel attack on 2008 is an another example.

Only to increase their TRP rating media was continuously covering the whole incident and revealed every plan and strategies of our soldier and government which should not be opened or disclosed in a public platform. The mushrooming of private media channels, newspapers, magazines and social media site is the main reason of increasing negative impact of yellow journalism. Even e-media and social Medias are also adopting this yellow journalism to increase their website traffic and to create a positive affect brand image by manipulating social platforms, search engines, and traditional news outlets. Instead of publishing important news on their channels nowadays media are busier on some issues like the marriage of celebrities, what kind of dress they are wearing, their affairs etc. In this mechanical world, everybody is busy in making money.

Now the question is who will stop these activities which are continuously affecting our major democratic pillar journalism?