Thursday, December 16, 2004


Oh, well, sometimes I feel why the hell I am on the side of ethics always? I mean.WHY WHY WHY!

Mid-day THE TABLOID of Mumbai goes ahead and prints pictures of Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor, kissing in a discotheque on the front page. Well its a common knowledge that they are seing each other. I know Tabloids are meant to sensationalise every possible thing udner the sun. I just wonder what purpose do these pictures serve? I mean they have zilch news value. Apart from grabbing eye balls and increase readership, the pics do nothing more. Mid-day does not depend a lot on subscription as its sales are more dependent on the amount of copies it sells from the stands, So I understand the sensationalism bit. But the the pics are vulgar and Mid-day is obviously promoting soft-porn in its front page.

What I fail to realise is that what is so newsworthy about what they were doing? It is just a natural act. Just b'coz they are celebrities, I don't understand how Kissing makes news? (I THINK I NEED A NEW LECTURE ON THAT!)

In India, if you might have noticed, sleazy details of politicians are usually avoided. Vir Sanghvi in his recent column had talked about rhe same fact that a politician's private life is nobody's business unless and until it affects the electorate as a whole. Why can't the media leave the celebrities alone? I hope the paparaazi culture doesn't permeate here. (I know, I know, all wishful thinking....!!!)

And why the hell are both the Kapoors denying the whole thing? Its but obvious that the ones in the pictures are the kapoors only. By saying that you are from a respectable family to indulge in *SUCH* deeds only reeks of hypocrisy. What harm in accepting it? Accept the fact and fight the case in the court on the basis of GROSS VIOLATION OF PRIVACY. I know they are popular actors of India and Indian society is not all that liberal and is conservative, but by denying it, they are only giving the paper an upperhand.

Such stories just make me wonder if I would ever be journalist int he truer sense of the term? Compromising on ethics isn't what I exactly want to do. I also wonder if it would be easy to stand in what you believe for and still survive? I don't know. It is scary for me as journalism was all that I have always wanted to do. I would be shattered to say the least if something on the contrary happens :(

P.S. I know, I have been irregular with comments for the past few posts as I have been very busy. I will reply to them soon :)


Anonymous said...

I agree with you totally. Sometimes the things that make up the front page of the newspaper are so surprising. It's all just depending on what attracts people sometimes :) 

Posted by Khushee

Anonymous said...

Well, almost all newspapers are tabloids. I am sure if ToI or HT were to receive a copy of the same, the would publish it whole-heartedly. One of the reasons I have cancelled my newpaper subscription. I prefer to read the news on the net.

And yes, I dont think celebrities are gonna have it any easier in future. And perhaps, sometimes, they need it too, just because they have been out of news for some time, for that extra boost in their careers.

And yes, have written about the IITKGP thingy on my blog. 

Posted by kpowerinfinity

Anonymous said...

saleable news and the ethics of it ... dhamakedar topic ... hope you find the accpetable balance in your career as a journalist ... all the very best from my side ... 

Posted by Kishore

Anonymous said...

Its not about ethics. Its news. and if you can post pics of horrifying accidents where you will see blood and gore all around... then this is ALSO absolutely valid. News is news. In any form. And whether we like it or not, the paparazzi culture will prop up. Not because we let it... but because the celebs will let it. Being a celeb means more responsibility.... cuz more of the world is watching you and what you do. I dont say kissing is bad... even in public... but when you are a celeb... u will have to accept the fact that people will always be watching you... Do it in your home. :D. Its just a beginning, incidents like these will increase in the future... by then it will just be ordinary news, which will still cause a splash. 

Posted by brokenshard

Anonymous said...

Shobha, You should find time to come over to England for a while. Reading (rather, watching) Rupert Murdoch's The Sun gives you the kind of education in journalism you will never get when in India. Beyond a point, ethics isnt an issue at all. In talking about the non-existent sensibilities and sensitivites of the masses, who willingly lap up the newspapers, you might sound just like the rightwing 'guardians of India's culture'. Instead, look at media content as contributing to public discourse. A good democracy needs seedy stuff out there. There can be nothing more ruthless than British Paparazzi. Therefore there can be nobody with a better sense of humour than the British celebrity, or for that matter the British fan. The average person shows more sensibity and liberalism here than anywhere else. That is mainly because they all know that everything is jazz, and everything is showbusiness; and so you'd better have as much fun as you can when you can!
Or take the example of America, they have some seriously conservative types there and look at the quality of public discourse and therefore the quality of their democracy. Do you want India to go that way? 

Posted by Anand

Anonymous said...

One, there is no invasion of privacy. It you can kiss in public, so too a photo can be taken.
Two, the problem is not with smooching or with printing the photo. But with the way we react (in the negative way, I mean). Can't we all accept things that are so human? 

Posted by Pradeep

Anonymous said...

Khushee: Yea Khush. agree with you!

Kpower: Oh yea, I agree, some stars will personally do lot of things so that they are in limelight always. Also, nothing can replace the feeling of holding a paper and reading it! I mean I am a very newspaper, book person :)

Kishore: Shurkiya!

Brokenshard: Ok, pictures of horrifying incidents are seen in newspapers because they have affected a section of people in a horrid manner. Pray tell me how have the kapoors' smooching pictures affected, harmed anybody? The former is enws, the latter is sleaze, that's a major difference!Please don't equate them in the same platform.

Anand: A very different point of view. Hmm, worth pondering! and no ways....Indians arent as dumb as the Americans!

Pradeep: I agree, they kissed at a public place but what I am wondering how can it be a NEWS NEWS ITEM! (I am bored, tired and weary now! *sigh*!) and did you read Mid-day's reply the other day? its it if you could! 

Posted by Shobha

Shobha said...

I, Me and Media!

BlogBack Closing 13th October 2005.

hi shobhi..
i think the reason why "kissing makes news" is that today
people want to hear and watch more filmi gossip ..
When i went to buy a copy of it i was surprised when the
newspaper wala said "sab copies bik gaya"..he usually has enough
copies of midday…just shows how crazy people are to read such news!
Oh my god..and when i came home i saw all news channels were making such a huge issue..showing the video over and over again!
i mean whether the actors/models kiss or make love..why the
media is making such an issue out of it?
Otherwise also todays bollywood movies show vulgarity/nudity etc so now a stage has come where everything has become acceptable
arent actors human beings? dont they have their own private life?
U talking about paparazzi..
u should watch this program "hollywood uncensored" on the
cameramen stalk the celebrities..which usually end in brawls betw
the photographers and the celebs..ull feel happy that u are not a celebrity!
And after watching the news about the IIT student being taken into custody for making videos of the delhi school scandal,i strongly feel that mobile phones with camera MUST be banned in institutions..
a mobile phone should serve only the basic purpose of communication so that students can keep in touch with their parents and camera phones…what do you say?

2004-12-16 11:33

Hey Shobz…
Forget about the mid-day ..their circulation is not more than a local daily..what about the all populat TOI printing pics of female models in bare minimum with captions such as " a belgian model waking on the ramp" or " a chinese model doing the drills". !!
We are very much on the track of british tabaloids..

2004-12-16 13:08

Kapoor & Kapur shud accept the fact, admit its them - so ? Whats the big deal? And just move on…Now that the pics (and the video clip as well) are out, denying it will only add fuel to the fire.

And, stand for what you belive and still survive - Thats what life is all about !!!

Dont worry Shobhs, a journo is only what you are gonna become :)

2004-12-16 19:06

fainting did vigay/shagles/vignes make a comment tat made sense :|call 911 or topsline

2004-12-17 07:21

Hey Shobha
Read my new post on my blog..
Guess..u will like that…

2004-12-17 07:41

Well I tend to Disagree with your point of view !Remember the pics were clicked not in the Privacy of thier homes but in a public restaurant!I think celebs have every right to privacy,but the privacy they demand should only be for PRIVATE actions,not for something done at a Public Place!Secondly and most importantly,have u ever noticed why only some celebs get slammed on the front pages?why doesnt a Sachin or BigB make frontpage news for all the wrong reasons?Its all in the character dear!!!the paper printed wht it did coz it always knew tht there wud be denials and claims etc from the past 3 days till today it has printed enuff (an earned well at that!) that could have well have been avoided!Shobhs on your way to being a journo u shud also study a bit of law!

2004-12-17 14:09

some othr guy it is .. not me russdike .. my comments r adhura without .. a buhaha :p

2004-12-17 14:45

As you say, all these pictures do is increase readership. Well, I guess that's the bottomline for media companies as for any other!!!

It might be radical but I am totally for media censorship in such cases of promoting sleaze and sensationalism.

2004-12-17 21:51

I thot that you were working from Mid-day.

Hmmm. Bite me.

Basically the lifestyle of all the famous actors and actresses which people admire in films for their..mmmm… panache… yes, panache, well, the people want to see what they do in real life too.

Thats why all famous people have their following of papparazi. Its like an dog eat cat world.

And any news, any news about these people instantly become sizzling news with the addition of photoshop to modify these images and creative writers to make a mountain out of a molehill. Thats what people want. And thats what profits these companies.

Capitalism. Media, and the fourth estate.

2004-12-19 04:50

Vignesh: Ban on mobile phones….ummmm! Dunno how far it would work!

Gaurav: TOI is TOI is a TOI! Matter khatam!

Dhinchak: You do have a point. The pics were taken in a public place. But what purpose does it serve? Does it have any news value apart from titillating the readers? what character are you talking about ? Anybody and everybody can come in the front pages for wrong reasons too…..Now please don't make any character and moral judgements here! I know knowledge of law is essential.lets see!

Gundu: next time se comment as Gundu :P buhahahaha!

Shreyas: Unfortunately I don't think that's ever gonna happen! BTW long time, how have you been?

Sat: Just for clarification, I INTERNED with the website and NEVER WORKED for the paper. Also just because I have interned with them, it can't stop me from being crictical of what I thought was wrong! FREEDOM of speech, Rem, its a free world out here?

2004-12-19 06:42

ban on camera phones- YES… i'd posted bt the goons who tried to capture us on their mobs while v were in an auto (4 girls)… pervertedness knows no limits. and apparently, neither does the media! private lives is private lives. first of all, i dont think kapur n kapoor kissed bhare mehfil mein without neone crowding around them @ tht moment(if tht is what kissing in public means). apart from tht, it is private life, n the media shud respect privacy of celebrities. dhinchakman is right too… only celebs on the silver screen land up in spots like this. the lay man is more interested in a film actors or actress' private life than a politicians or a cricket players. geez.

2004-12-19 22:33


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