What is Breaking News? Ash and Abhishek Getting Engaged?

January 16, 2007

Most news channels beamed "Breaking News" the other night. What could it be, I wondered. Another bomb blast? Some Natural calamity?

Turned out, Aishwarya Rai had agreed to marry Abhishek Bachchan. And what breaking news it turned out to be. Heart-Breaking News rather, for all those Aish fans.

Breaking news usually affect our lives. My life has changed since then. It will never be the same again. After all, the giggle goddess has finally zeroed in on one man and it has turned out to be a matter of national importance. What a drastic turn of events. Aby's baby has finally found his baby. Oh, I am so sorry dear Salman and Vivek..oops, Viveik..err.. Viviek.

Day two and more drama: One reporter while interviewing the Big B asked for Mithai. Some are trying to get Aish's ex-lovers' reactions. One channel is speculating that the Bachchans' newly constructed villa could actually be the residence for the soon-to-be couple. Another channel is inviting viewers' opinions on this whole issue, via SMS. Send in your opinions on this oh-so-important matter. Thank God it was a weekend, I would have missed so much if I were at work.

Live feed of the marriage could be hitting your TV screens soon. Tell you what, can't wait for that one either.

Truman is a computer programmer based in Bangalore. He is 26, stays alone, loves to travel and go deep in music (is mad about the band- U2). He also loves to read, write and is an aviation enthusiast.
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January 16, 2007
05:40 AM

Worse than all the television channels combined was the Deccan Herald giving it front page lead treatment. Ugh!

January 16, 2007
06:29 AM

your comment policy says personal attack is not allowed. then why is the author allowed to called aishwarya "giggle godess". i understand her engegement to abhishek does not deserve the treatment of a national news item. but then it's the media's fault. why are they going crazy over the development? the author does not need to express his anguish by taking potshots at aishwarya calling her a "giggle godess". but in heart of hearts even he seems to be interested in it. else how do you explain his mention of aishwarya's past boyfriends salman and vivek?he's also curious to know how they both would react to this news. how much ever you may hate it but the reality is star lives always attract attention, be it bollywood or hollywood. we have to live with it.

January 16, 2007
07:17 AM

Since when is "giggle goddess" an insult?

January 16, 2007
07:21 AM

As long as we watch such stuff with a "yes sir! whatever you enlightened souls show us, the ignorant and the subservient!" attitude without any discretion, news channels with such "enlightened people" with "enlightened thought" as Barkha Dutt will keep beaming such "breaking news" down our throats.

At the end of the day, it's all about currency notes. The media understand the psychology of their viewers extremely well. They know, that we are actually more interested and concerned about which movie star is doing what, with which person s/he is hanging out with, what jeans or perfumes does s/he use. They know, that if they spend too much time on, say DRDO's latest achievements in missile technology or farmers' suicides, their TRP ratings will go down.

CNN-IBN's caption is "Whatever It Takes." It seems literally whatever it takes.

January 16, 2007
07:24 AM

You're right, Atlantean. It's all about the ratings...

January 16, 2007
07:29 AM


Exactly. In fact you have extended my point well. Eventually they are feeding the audience what they want. At a personal level you and me may not be getting what we expect from CNN-IBN and company but majority of the people do. Thats what brings money. And thats what matters.

January 16, 2007
07:50 AM

Hey xyz.."personal attacks are not allowed"
That applies only to comments and not writers.If you disagree with calling rai a "giggle goddess",don't look for technicalities to counter the writer.
Am I getting too personal if I say 'Get a life'??

January 16, 2007
07:56 AM

I think they called it 'breaking-news' cause it broke quite a few Indian hearts as you said. The hearts which can withstand the dukh of dying farmers, the apathetic crowd would rather cry over Aish getting married. Its all in the TRP.

January 16, 2007
08:46 AM

oh! it seems "giggle goddess" is a compliment. and sri thanks but no thanks. keep your intelligence to yourself. even without any "technicality" i would express my disagreement. yes, you should know that you are getting too personal if you say "get a life". such a cliched line.all what i said was the tag "giggle godess" is totally unnecessary.

January 16, 2007
08:49 AM

Lets apply a little bit of basic physics.Newton's second law in practise translates to
F = m * a

where F = Fanatism displayed by mob.
m = media coverage
a = attention / affairs

Now assume that a is constant then F increases with increase of m . Simple right and that's what the media does knowing well how gullible the mob is .

Am I wrong in my logic . Else why would the TRP ratings of Sony SET MAX rise suddenly with the introduction of Mandira of the noodle strap fame in Extraa Innings ;)

January 16, 2007
05:37 PM

Not trying to be holier than thou, we have at least 2 articles and as many or more comments in DC about this topic (albeit criticizing). So it does make for good media fodder? Possibly we are on a higher moral plateau as we are discussing the merits of the event being a valid 'breaking news'. Popular media will get to that -- but after it has had it's fill of covering the event and needs something to keep the flagging story alive. Morality and introspection will kick in then.

Media is no doubt pumping sales by sensationalizing the engagement. It is a bad and sad trend. But we are to blame for it. More often than not, we judge the book by its cover. Sensationalism sells. Pre Internet, evening newspapers just thrived on sensationalism.

It's not just us. The Brits have the royals to follow and waste precious time on. We have our stars. I would much rather take a hike(in Lalbagh, thanks to Tanay), but putting ourselves in the shoes of Aam Junta, the event is definitely interesting, if not sensational. Being devil's advocate, admittedly there is a market for it. A pretty big one at that. So are we correct in arguing that media stick to higher standards?

TIME person of the year - YOU

"the history of the world is but the biography of great men." - Thomas Carlyle. He believed that it is the few, the powerful and the famous who shape our collective destiny as a species. That theory took a serious beating this year.

So why try to be the select few chalking the destiny of what the common man needs. If they hate it as much as we do, they know how to switch channels and media will follow suit to switch to better content..

January 17, 2007
12:46 AM

What is Breaking News? Ash and Abhishek Getting Engaged?



(the breaking news i suppose would be if they

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