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Can You Handle Breaking News?

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When we were kids, newspapers had 10 pages with very few ads, news on TV had 3 headlines with no  ad breaks.  We followed the News for things that were important.  Interesting.  Unusual.  A definition that has since been eliminated through a sustained conspiracy hatched by the media to propagate mediocrity and generate employment for shoals of people who think, if the plural of medium is media, then the plural of tedium is tedia. 

Friends, bloggers, countrymen, with or without ears that could be loaned, let us bring News back to those good old times!  Let us save newsprint, ink, electricity, water, diesel, trucks, traffic, fresh air, paper wallah’s sprained shoulders, stray dogs, subscription fees, ground reporting fatigue, coffee and cigarettes and become carbon footprint champions so that our children can continue to enjoy Nature’s bounties the same way that we have done!  These would be “breaking news” under the new dispensation:
a)   “Minister reads his own speech”:  Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna read his own speech at the United Nations session on global disharmony.  A visibly emotional Mr Krishna addressed the Press soon thereafter and thanked them for their continual support and criticism which made him adopt advanced techniques from yoga guru Ramdev and fitness guru Jane Fonda’s latest book, to revitalize him and get his many cells working again.
b)   “Virender Sehwag scores runs”:  Sehwag was smiling from eardrum to eardrum on scoring 13 runs in the second one-day cricket match against Botswana.  The belligerent batsman, having scored zeroes in 13 matches on the trot, lending an altogether different meaning to the phrase “getting your ducks in a row”, suffering from impaired hearing after having a blast, literally, in front of Bose speakers at a loud nightclub, and having to hear his wife keep on shouting “you just don’t listen to me anymore”, could finally discern, faintly, the sound of the ball coming at him.  On asked if he was dissatisfied with his dismissal, he retorted “I was on 13, what else do you expect?”
c)     “Amitabh Bachchan to retire”:  Unable to keep pretending not to know ‘kaun banega crorepati?’, where evidently it was really only him, Amitabh Bachchan has chosen to leave the world of glamour and modelling and some acting, and retire to the Hills.  Pali Hills.  Where he has built a humble house with two bedrooms, one for him and one for Jaya, with Binani Cement and Jai Ambe sariya.  His bathroom has a separate closet for storing Laal Tail or ‘red oil’ which can be applied to his hair, or ingested or applied somewhere for vitality, depending on his mood or what he remembers of that ad campaign.   

d)   “Members of Parliament are attending parliament”:  In an unprecedented turn of events, MPs of all parties are attending the winter session of parliament in full strength.  That too, without being whipped.  Inside sources revealed several reasons.  It is unusually cold in Delhi this time.  Several MPs were refused red beacons for their cars by the Home Minister, and this made it less fun to drive around.  Trips to places like Florida and Rio de Janiero for studying the effect of solar radiation on female breasts – important to India because of the impact it has on population growth – have been cancelled because of this stupid old man from Maharashtra who went on a fast.
e)    “Parliament has voted to reduce seats in parliament”:  Lower and Upper houses have taken a resolution to pass motion and send the Bill for President’s consent, seeking to reduce the number of seats in parliament from 545 to 47.  Members used data from the last ten years to conclude that, for all practical purposes, 47 MPs is all it takes to get business conducted.  The others are generally not present, and even if they are, generally have no clue what’s happening.  The poor sods hate it when they have to listen to endless debates, not to mention the endless walk outs, on stupid things like giving rotten food grains to the poor for free.  The salary allocation in the Budget would stay unchanged so that the salary of 545 people can now be shared by 47 people.  This will avoid salary escalation Bills to be brought in for the next two years at least, avoiding public criticism of their greed.  47 is also a nice number to commemorate freedom.
f)    “Police caught red-handed refusing bribe in Gurgaon”: an assistant sub-inspector in Gurgaon has been caught on spy camera refusing to take Rs 300 as facilitation fee to clear a passport verification file of a puzzled citizen.  The ASI’s colleagues are worried.  However, sources reveal that the government is likely to institute a committee with representation from civil society to study and recommend salary correction for the police force through additional components such as ball pen subsidy, socks reimbursement, boot maintenance and liquor allowance.  All the money would come from product sponsors so that the salary hike does not burden the state exchequer.
g)   “e-Bribe portal launched”:  Minister against Corruption, Sharad Pawar, launched the ambitious e-Bribe portal at a glittering ceremony last night.  Aimed at bringing in greater transparency and efficiency in the state machinery, the portal will allow citizens to directly deposit the facilitation fee (for more on F2F, please click) to designated account groups using simple drop down menus and pre-calculated amounts.  All contributions are tax-exempt.
h)   “e-Commerce to eliminate Press tenders”:  the ministries of industry, commerce, law and communications have proposed that the practice of printing tenders in newspapers be discontinued forthwith.  The people who know the business get the tenders anyway.  The people who know the people placing the tenders get awarded the job anyway.  e-Commerce and e-Bribe portals together can eliminate these painfully ugly black-and-white monstrosities. Newsprint and paper savings are estimated at Rs 47,000 crores, to be put in a citation to be presented to Jairam Ramesh, one time environment crusader and currently co-chairing, with Digvijay Singh, a committee examining involuntary pedo-oratoryosis, commonly known as the foot-in-mouth disease.
i)     “Celebrities to use brands they endorse”:  the beautiful people of tinsel town came together at an evening hosted by Cartier and took oath to actually use the products they endorse for at least six months before their ads come out.  It will allow them to live the experience and make it more believable.  For example, the camera can zoom in to show Saif’s grimace as he sips Taj Mahal tea or Amir Khan tearing his hair at the poor reception of TataSky or Salman’s pain down under at wearing Dollar Club underwear.  Or they will switch back to what they actually use and do a different set of ads for products that few people can afford to buy.
Well, if you still choose to suffer Breaking News the way you are doing now, and are happy about it, go ahead – I can’t stop you!  Who knows, you may even feature in Breaking News as a citizen reacting to Breaking News – “aap ko kaisa feel ho raha hai?”
Authored by :  Avijit Ray

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Haresh's picture

It's high time the breaking news nonsense stops on Indian 'News' Channels x-(

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