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MEDIA: A REALITY OR AN ILLUSION?

A PROJECT REPORT SUBMITTED TO

AMITY INSTITUTE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY

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“In the real world, nothing happens at the right
place at the right time. It is the job of media to
correct that”

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Table of content
1. Acknowledgement…………………………………………….. 5

2. Executive summary……………………………………………. 6

3. Objective………………………………………………………… 7

4. Methodology……………………………………………………. 8

5. Literature review or secondary data…………………….........9-16

6. Management and market research questions………………17

7. Research design………………………………………………....18

8. Conclusion…………………………………………………...…..19-20

9. Recommendation………………………………………….…….21

10. Limitations……………………………………………………….22

11. Appendix (Questionnaire)…………………………................. 23-27

12. Variables………………………………………………………....28

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13. Bibliography……………………………………………………. 29

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
It is our honors to state that we are very grateful to
our institution AMITY UNIVERSITY for envisaging
such a stupendous project.
We would like to place on record appreciation and
grateful thanks to my internal guide Miss Radhika
Singh, subject in charge Amity University, for giving
this project,
MEDIA: A REALITY OR AN ILLUSION
This project was an opportunity for us to sharpen our
market research skills and for being our guide all
through.

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And then we thank our group members for their
constant effort, support and contribution.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
MEDIA: A REALITY OR AN ILLUSION? This study was undertaken to gain a
deep understanding the need of media (TV journalism) on recent time. In the
current liberalized environment that is characterized by information and
knowledge base, the media, particularly the satellite television news channels, is
a very powerful medium that plays a significant role in shaping public opinions
and beliefs, and disseminating correct information and knowledge with a huge
responsibility on their shoulders. IN SPITE OF TV CHANNELS AND NEWS
PAPERS MUSHROOMING IN INDIA, QUALITY AND CREDENTIAL OF
NEWS ARE DETERIORATING IN THE COUNTRY. NEWS PRODUCERS
AND BROADCASTERS ARE MORE INTO MAKING MONEY THAN
DISSEMINATING NEWS. Reports in different TV Channels and Newspapers
were less informative than bias to influence the discussion scheduled for a date 4
days later. News is losing its importance among people of India. In India, the
journalism practice is going tabloid way. The practitioners are more behind
sensationalism and hype creating stuff than the news that would inform and
empower people. As the trend of journalism practice goes in India, it’s high time
that some kind of controlling system be set to ensure an ethical and responsible
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journalism in the country.It is said that Indian viewers now spend more time
watching news than reading news, as TV news channels in India have been
competing with each other for more viewership. They have been targeting
specific viewers by producing interactive and sensational types of news
programs for vying for public attention and ultimately to improve their
television rating points (T.R.P.). Time and again, the media has been blamed for
'incorrect' reporting but very few people understand basic issues related to
release of information in the public domain. In certain cases, media has to
downplay the number of casualties to avoid panic.

OBJECTIVE
 To study the need of media on recent time.

 To see whether news on media channels is completely true these days.

 To study that is Media is deviating from the laws, ethics and principles
that it should follow?

 To study that media is working more for TRP rather than reality.

 To study that is news channels suppressing the newspapers.
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 To know the preference of the viewer.

 To know the service of the news channels.

 To know that the channels who got the broadcasting right for 24x7 is
showing the worth news.

 To see that brand image of news channels is affecting the TRP of other
news channels.

METHEDOLOGY
Success or failure of any survey depends upon few important steps which are
taken in advance to make survey effective and meaningful. Following are the
major steps which are followed in this survey –

Questionnaire Formation:-It is always convenient for surveyor & surveyee to
ask and answer the questions respectively if questions are framed, sequenced
and asked in proper format

Conclusion:-What kind of news peoples is watching more? How much reality is
covered by news channels? And many more hidden facts were brought into
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limelight. Drawing conclusion from findings was the last major step of this
survey.

Research Design : Exploratory study

Source Of Data : Primary Data, secondary data

Research Instrument: Questionnaire

Sample Size : 200

Sampling Technique: Convenience Sampling

Contact Method : Personal Visit

LITRATURE REVIEW OR SECONDARY
RESEARCH

INTRODUCTION
In the current liberalized environment that is characterized by information and
knowledge base, the media, particularly the satellite television news channels, is
a very powerful medium that plays a significant role in shaping public opinions
and beliefs, and disseminating correct information and knowledge with a huge
responsibility on their shoulders. Such dissemination of news, views, and other
information has far-reaching affects on societies, businesses, and governments.
At the same time, today, the electronic media attracts the best talent in the
country. When talented people work in such an industry, society expects them to
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act in a more accountable manner and provide it with those news stories that
will increase their knowledge, their sources of information, and inspire them to
inculcate a feeling of responsibility toward society. We are a nation of diverse
voices, opinions, religion, values, political beliefs, culture. In addition, we have
many problems as people with fewer privileges, family to feed, petrol prices,
interest rates, jobs, losing our friends in bomb blasts, fearing for our women,
make ends meet, again a long list. The Mass Media is often referred to as the
fourth branch of government because of the power you wield and the oversight
function you exercise. It is through them that the public comes to know the
problems that face the country. Thus you educate the public mind and enable the
people to have their own opinions on matters of public importance.

Your role in society is simple one.

• Give us facts
• Create and sustain revolutions, pleas
• Fight for what is right
• Guide us
• Amplify our problems/ voices so government can hear us
• Eventually you should be ‘Junta ki awaz’
• And become change agent

Mumbai: You turned this incident in a bloody TRP war, where people live was
as irrelevant as Barkha’s approach to ethical journalism.

Moral Police: Women were being physically abused and all you could do was
to shoot the video so you can say “First reported here…”. Have you no soul.
What did your video do, advertised and propagated fear…Hurray a well lived
day!

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Free Speech: In an op-ed written over a year ago (unfortunately, due to site
changes, it is inaccessible on Hindustan Times), Barkha Dutt, the managing
editor of NDTV, had vented against anonymous bogger who espouse popular
opinion which are “often bigoted, blasphemous and banal.”Now, not that we ran
out of examples, it’s just enough to drive the point across. You have become too
shallow, sleaze, sensationalist and superficial even for your own good, all I can
say is people, we listen to you, so do your job properly. We don’t need you to be
pimps for movies people and Celebes. We don’t need your opinions, just a
rational analysis; we don’t need your pointless debates and dumb follow-up
questions. We need to you enable a democracy. Are we paying for this
nonsense?

FOR US the credibility of the media channels has come down to zero and we
have stopped believing in any news they show. One of the reasons is that even if
they show a true story then that also would be shown in their own way, full of
spicy flavors. They will present it in such a way that it attracts more and more
people and in turn to increase their Television Rating Point (TRP). Hence, the
core news loses its authenticity. We will not hesitate in saying that no news on
these media channels is completely true these days. This includes the channels in
question and not the entire media. Now We sometimes think that a decade
before our very own ’Delhi Doordarshan’ times were the best when there were
only news and no nonsense. These news channels are testing our patience and
making people mentally ill. This issue needs to be dealt effectively and
genuinely. These TV channels should be banned till the time they show sensible
and true stories and most importantly in a proper manner. They have completely
lost their mind and are beaming whatever they want. Freedom of expression
does not mean that you can show anything that comes to your mind and that too
on a national platform. Firstly, when the thing that is shown is a complete fiction,
secondly, it triggers an uncalled fear in public and thirdly, these plays with our
emotions and beliefs.
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NBA – Can we see a change?

For your information, News Broadcasters Association (NBA), the apex body of
all private news channels, has announced the setting up of a ’News broadcasting
standards (disputes redress) authority’ to enforce its code of ethics and
broadcasting standards. The former Chief Justice of India, J S Verma, is chairing
the authority. It has become operational from Thursday (October 2, 2008). The
other eight members have been equally drawn from amongst the eminent
persons and editors categories. The NBA said, “... a censure emanating from a
jury of peers would indisputably affect the credibility of a channel." The process
of censure would not be without its legal ramifications. They also stated,
"Channel acting in breach of established guidelines could hardly defend its
motives or suggest that it was acting fairly, if it is censured by a jury comprising
its peers." Our best section in it is the ’viewer feedback’, which states, ’all news
channels will on their website, create provision to receive consumer feedback.
Further any specific viewer complaints will be responded to. In the event any
news channel gets a specific complaint if found to be true it will admit to the
same on air and will respond in fullness and fairness to the viewer. In the event,
a viewer/body perceives prejudice by any specific report carried by the news
channel, it will respond in fullness and without impartiality to the
viewer.”However, these have come into action from October 2, 2008. Also, we
don’t know how effective these would be, and what are the chances that there
will be no corruption in that department and they will genuinely look into the
complaints and take appropriate actions?

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Will they check each and every report before broadcasting it? If not then what is
the use of taking an action once the news has been telecast? An action after the
damage is done? Well, all these questions are premature, though important. If
NBA has decided to make an authority then they should also not hesitate in
taking an unbiased action. Currently, apart from the Cable TV Networks
(Regulation) Act, 1995, and the program and advertising code for Doordarshan
and All India Radio, there are no separate laws governing broadcasters. Enough
is enough. We cannot bear just about anything that is thrust upon us. We need to
unite, raise our voice and take a firm action against these so called TV channels
that are so childish that they have not yet understood their responsibilities. This
is surely not what we call journalism. Are our aspiring journalists learning this in
their mass communication courses? And above all, are we paying for this
nonsense?

Media has become oblivious to its
responsibilities

These days, it is nothing but a money minting business that ignores its social
responsibilities. However, it's high time now that society demands a change

A 14-year-old girl gets murdered brutally and what we see on our television
screens is transcripts of her online chats and her personal messages. A bomb
blast leaves a city shattered and what we read in our newspapers are arguments
of political parties blaming each other. And not to forget, the breaking news
that’s on the news channels 24x7 that a bird got stuck on a tree and was rescued
by fire-fighters and that Rakhi Sawant slapped her boyfriend.

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Do I need to give you more examples to prove how the standards of media are
deteriorating today? Indeed, media today has become oblivious to its
responsibilities.

Media is deviating from the laws, ethics and principles that it should follow. To
explain this statement a little more, I take the example of Arushi murder case,
which was a pure case of defamation.

Indeed, media today no longer cares about the responsibility that it has towards
the public, the responsibility of bringing the truth ethically and objectively
without hurting anybody’s sentiments and the consequence of this is over-hyped
news. Today’s media actually sensationalizes news. Giving out facts and details
to the public which are not true, or even worse, manufacturing them, is what has
become the latest trend. Even if media is in the business of selling, where do we
draw a line? What exactly is the limit?

Sting operations these days are mere attempts to sensationalized news and gain
television rating points (TRPs) rather than highlighting legitimate public interest
issues. They have become a source to fill in time-slots on 24-hour news channels
which constantly need something on air. And they hardly follow the principle on
which they are supposed to be conducted, which is to reveal the truth to the
public about various concerning issues. We believe, that instead of being ’with’
and ’for’ the people and serving them, media has distanced itself from the
public. Today’s media looks for big, grand issues to be covered as news stories
instead of stories at the grass root level.

How incorrect is 'incorrect' media coverage?
Time and again, the media has been blamed for 'incorrect' reporting but very few
people understand basic issues related to release of information in the public
domain. In certain cases, media has to downplay the number of casualties to
avoid panic.
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DURING AND post 26/11, people constantly held grudges against one news
channel for showing 80 hostages being freed from the Trident, while another
insisted it was 70. ’Mumbai under siege!’ said some TV screens while others
flashed, ’Terror holds Mumbai’. On the receiving end, it only makes sense to
play the victim who is being subjected to prejudice and incorrect content when it
comes to news but to take a decision that might lead to an unwanted uproar is
where the difficulty lies. Not always can electronic means of information always
stick to the correct digit. The explanation is as simple as the theory behind it.
Hypothetically, a bomb blast in the city kills scores of people but the news
channel has certain bounds, by which it cannot present news in its raw form.
Estimation and an approximation is the least that they are expected to maintain.
The blame game continues this way but not for an instance do people wonder
about whether it’s worth it or not? “You can’t always give out the actual figures,
as at that moment there are certain responsibilities that the viewers might not
understand and I don’t blame them but in order to maintain that calm, the
figures need to be reduced and then slowly revealed as time and the situation
settles with the viewer keeping track of the toll,” said a leading national news
channel executive on request of anonymity. Another fact that not many people
would vouch for nor would many people agree is the dispensing of altered
information, which people misinterpret as ‘incorrect’. The source of the
information is not always common, thus a slight change in each calculation is
possible. In certain situations, human aspects of the job have to be considered to
be able to understand the context that might have an effect on your life. The
police is usually hammered with multiple calls from press associations,
newspapers and TV news channels for first hand information and a ’sound byte’
or a ’quote’ from certain higher officials to add something that other media
would not have and of course to add credibility to the news. Not always are the
times flexible and almost never does the competition amongst the channels stop.
The police again are the ones who supply the information to the channels for

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them to air it on TV and just like we don’t trust our politicians to bring about any
change, a similar lack of faith exists within the handing over of this knowledge,
which again is tampered with or if we may say ‘incorrect’. What is this correct
information and if it is out there, how do we know we have it and even when we
do, how do we know that this is the only one that is. A perfect environment with
perfect communication and 100 per cent transparency is too utopian to expect.
Not always do we know what’s best for us, as a matter of fact most of the times
we don’t, after all ignorance sometimes does prove to be bliss.

MANAGEMENT QUESTIONS
1. Why people prefer media channels over newspaper.

2. Why media channels are turning up to the most important source for
information and knowledge.

3. Why investigative journalism involves more than just string operation.

4. Why TV news channels are consider to be entertainment driver rather

than public service oriented.

5. Why TV news channels differ in facts & figure on the same issue.

6. Why the TV news channels telecast aired stories with fictitious titles.

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RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Is the availability of news channels suppressing newspaper.

2. Is TV news channels members are increasing day by day.

3. Do ‘Breaking news’ are more eyes catching than the regular content news.

4. Do attractions or factitious titles attract more viewers.

5. Do you prefer the ‘polls’ conducted by news channels.

RESEARCH DESIGN
Exploratory research is a type of research conducted because a problem has not
been clearly defined. Exploratory research helps determine the best research
design, data collection method and selection of subjects. Given its fundamental
nature, exploratory research often concludes that a perceived problem does not
actually exist.

Exploratory research often relies on secondary research such as reviewing
available literature and/or data, or qualitative approaches such as informal
discussions with consumers, employees, management or competitors, and more
formal approaches through in-depth interviews, focus groups, projective

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methods, case studies or pilot studies. There are two types of objective in a
marketing research project.

 Exploratory Research
 Descriptive research

Exploratory Research 'The objective of exploratory research is to gather
preliminary information that will help define problems and suggest hypotheses.'

Descriptive Research 'The objective of descriptive research is to describe things,
such as the market potential for a product or the demographics and attitudes of
consumers who buy the product.

The exploratory approach attempts to discover general information about a topic
that is not well understood by the marketer. For instance, a marketer has heard
news reports about a new Internet technology that is helping competitors but the
marketer is not familiar with the technology and needs to do research to learn
more. When gaining insight (i.e., discovery) on an issue is the primary goal,
exploratory research is used. Exploratory research follows a format that is less
structured and more flexible than descriptive research.

CONCLUSION
We have researched into this topic of REAL and ILLUSIVE view of media. The
broadcasting news channels can affect the real life of people in so many ways.
The violence on news can cause violence in real life targeting mostly the
children’s. It can be influence that disrupt a child's moral balance and makes a
child applicable to aggressive behavior as their perception of the real world
changes from the big screen. Many wonder why children are entertained by
television and the violence on it

“Journalists are like jackals and no jackal has been known to live on grass once he had
learned about meat -- no matter who killed the meat for him.”

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Although media plays an important role in bringing fact full the sad thing is the
bad clusters formed due to prevailing competitive edge of the news channels,
which almost ruining the philosophical "JOURNALISM". News channels
concentrate only on TRP Ratings. If they move only towards TRP then there
won’t be quality in that. If so it can not be a media should be an opinion bag. So,
they go hunting for what’s going wrong and leave no stone unturned in
sensationalizing that rather than at least making an attempt to project what is
right and promote moral behavior. People need to live in a world feeling at least
a bit secure rather than live in fear all the while.

The "Breaking News" label is great...if it really is breaking. It is, as to break the
backbone of truth and present everything stupid as news. The "breaking news"
headline is over used. It isn't breaking news if it happened 6 hours ago, If they
use it for too long, then it is meaningless and time consuming. Viewers exposed
to breaking news were primed to evaluate the coverage differently than those
who were not exposed to breaking news. It carries deflects attention away from
the story itself but it disguises fears about the impact which the message may
have on the general public. It has changed the way people live and relate to each
other

Don't forget Journalism is the ever-running stream of gems who make data into
information ,rather than creating a CHAOS instinct happen as in
DASAVATHARAM=JOURNALISM

THE SUDDEN surge in electronic media has brought innumerable changes in
the way we live, perceive and move on with our decisions. Of late, we have also
seen a rapid increase in the number of news channels. Henceforth, the
competition has also become stiff. Things have gone so far that various
prominent news channels have been also striving hard to retain their TRP’s –
consequently, this has hampered the image of serious journalism substantially.
Any competition is a good competition until rivals try to outdo each other on the
iniquitous ground. And if it moves in that way then there can be drastic
consequences. In short, these news channels have become more like
entertainment houses, which not only titillate you, but also left you brooded over
many unanswered questions. Others telecast unscientific programs regarding
future telling by cards and about what the stars tell. How ever, the channels have
been instrumental in exposing corruptions at different levels in our social,
political and economic life and bringing public grievances and social injustices to
the notice of the authorities as well as the society at large. They deserve a pat for
their good work in these aspects. The competition among these news channels
has literally reached the climax, where it seems more like a tug of war, where
people are using every trick to get hold over the rope. Surely, it is quite sad, but
true and we do need to think about it before it gets bad to worse. The violence on
TV can cause violence in real life targeting mostly the children’s.
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Through research we have found that the city children watched far more
television than small farmland places, but children rarely watch the news
channels. The violence on television is able to be more appealing and exciting
than the violence that is normally viewed in everyday life. Some parents see
television as an unhealthy intrusion into a children's learning process,
substituting easy pictures for the discipline of reading and concentrating and
transforming the young viewer into a hypnotized non thinker. It can be influence
that disrupt a child's moral balance and makes a child applicable to aggressive
behavior as their perception of the real world changes from the big screen. Many
wonder why children are entertained by television and the violence on it.

RECOMMENDATIONS
• "Realize that investigative journalism involves more than just string
operations."

• "The focus on revenues from advertisement should be shifted to news and
bringing more news to the doorsteps of the public."

• "The coverage of political news should not be restricted to the mainstream
political parties alone."

• "Apart from politics, films, and sports, the coverage should be extended to
developments in the fields of art, culture, science, literature, etc. since they
also make news."

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• "The channels need advertisement revenue—but not at the cost of
interruption every three to five minutes. News has to be continuous with
maximum one break for few seconds."

• "The response from the anchors must be less and not wait for the readers'
signals to reach them. The time gap for their response is irritating."

• "The quality of impartial reporting must be enhanced."

• "At no time should they telecast scenes that can only be viewed with
people of good heart conditions."

• "The compassionate feelings of the affected persons must be honored. The
"flash" or "breaking news" items must be of some standard and national
importance and not routine items."

• "Avoid sensationalism at all costs."

• "Curb on vulgar and violence clippings."

• "More focus on positive news stories and more focus on younger
generation issues."

• "Stop making socially undesirable characters as national heroes. Less
exaggeration or avoid undue importance given to politicians/political
drama."

LIMITATIONS

I. NON REPRESENTABLE: As the population size of amity students

Sector 125 is 60,000 approx. and our sample size is 200,if we talk
practically 200 students cannot represent 60,00 students.

II. TIME CONSUMING: This process is time consuming as we have to

go to each and every person to get our questionnaire filled.
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III. BIASED: This research may be biased because in selected 200

students there may be more hoteliers and less day-boarders as we
select people according to our convenience and normally hoteliers
don’t like mess food as compared to day-boarders.

IV. SPECIFIC: This research is mainly based on media and in media we

have covered only TV news channels. Is not including any radio,
newspaper or other entertainment channels.

APPENDCES
Media Questionnaire
1. WHAT IS YOUR AGE?

• 20-30 years

• 30-40 years

• 40-50 years

• > 50 years

2. EDUCATIONAL QUALIFIATION
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• Graduate

• Post graduate

• Doctorate

• Others

3. HOW MANY TIMES YOU WATCH NEWS CHANNELS IN A DAY

• > 3 times

• 3 times

• < 3 times

• Don’t watch at all

4. WHAT KIND OF NEWS CHANNELS ARE YOU INTERESTED IN?

• Political

• Sports

• Entertainment

• Business news

• Others

5. WHICH LANGUAGE DO YOU PREFER?

• Hindi

• English

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• Regional

• Others

6. WHICH NEWS CHANNELS DO YOU PREFER?

• Aaj tak

• BBC

• NDTV

• Star news

• Zee news

• Others

7. IS THE INFORMATION GIVEN BY NEWS CHANNELS YOU PREFER IS
SUFFICE?

• Yes

• No

• Can’t say

• May be

8. DO YOU PREFER THE “POLLS” SERVICES CUNDOCTED BY THE
NEWS CHANNELS?

• Yes

• No

9. DO YOU THINK IT IS CORRECT DOING STRING OPERATION?
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• Yes

• No

10. DO YOU THINK AIRED STORIES WITH FICTITIOUS TITLES IS
CORRECT?

• Yes

• No

11. IS SENSATIONAL NEWS SHWOED BY NEWS CHANNELS IS JUST
FOR INCREASING THE TRP?

• Yes

• No

12. DO YOU THINK THAN “BREAKING NEWS” IS MORE EYE
CATCHING THAN REGULAR NEWS?

• No

• Yes

• Can’t say

13. REPETATION OF NEWS IS GOOD FOR IMAGE MAKING?

• Yes

• No

14. LIVE TELECAST OF TERRORIST OPERATIONS IS FOR AWARENESS
OF PUBLIC

• Yes, people will aware from the terrorist activity

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• No,

15. HOW WOULD YOU RATE THESE NEWS CHANNELS? (PLEASE TICK)

Very good good fair poor very poor

• Aaj tak

• BBC

• NDTV

• Star news

• Zee news

16. ARE THE FOLLOWING CHANNELS RELIABLE SOURCE OF NEWS?

Strongly agree certain agree disagree strongly
disagree

• Aaj tak

• BBC

• NDTV

• Star news

• Zee news

17. ANY SUGGETIONS……………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………

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……………………………………………………………………………………
……………………

VARIABLES
1. Many news channels

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2. Evolution of media

3. String operation

4. Breaking news

5. Difference in facts & figure

6. More entertainment driven

7. Aired stories with fictitious titles

8. SMS services

9. Depth of the news

10. Reality

11. Brand image

12. Updated news

13. number of reporters

14. Availability of reporters

15. TRP

16. Sensationalism

17. Journalism debate

18. 24x7 broadcasting

19. Repetition of the news

20. Coverage

21. Credibility

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22. Cover stories

23. Focus on personal life

24. Language

25. Qualification of viewer

26. Age group

BABILIOGRAPHY
1. Mahapatra, Devi Prasad. 2005. "Booming: Television News Channels in

India." Ezinearticles.com, Oct.15.
2. Rao, Shakuntala, and Navjit Singh Johal. 2006. "Ethics and News Making in

the Changing Indian Medias cape." JOURNAL OF MASS MEDIA ETHICS
21 (4): 286-303.
3. Singh, S. Nihal. 2006. "Breaking News!" THE TRIBUNE May 9.

4. Vivek. 2006. "Brain-Dead Media." AVYAKTA (Hitagooj.blogspot.com), Dec.

25.
5. Yadav, Kiran, and Neha Sharma. 2006. "News Unbridled." THE FINANCIAL

EXPRESS, Nov. 19.
6. Kotler et al., Marketing Management, 2006, p. 122, Pearson Prentice Hall
Publications.

7. Malhotra, Naresh K., Marketing Research, Chap 3, pg 110-111, Pearson
Prentice Hall Publications.

8. Malhotra, Naresh K., Marketing Research, Chap 11, pg 373, Pearson Prentice
Hall Publications.

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9. Kotler et al., Marketing Management, 2008, chap 17 p. 480, Pearson Prentice
Hall Publications.

10. Exchange4media.com. 2003. "The Big Fight." May 9.

11. Expressindia.com. 2005. "Another Sting Shows M.P.'s Misappropriating

M.P.L.A.D. Funds." Dec. 20.
12. Indiantelevision.com. 2005. "Television Personality of 2005 Is Mr. Sting." Dec.

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