Sridevi’s sudden demise has shocked her fans across the world. The veteran actress was in Dubai when she breathed her last. While the nation was yet in the state of gloom, the bizarre reporting of the tragedy by majority of the Indian media has left everyone speechless. We have written time and again about the degrading standards of Indian Journalism, but the current reporting is even absurd by the Indian media standards.
Many social media users have called the reporting as ‘Circus’ and rightly so. The news studios were transformed into bathrooms (no we are not kidding) with news reporters floating multiple theories about the possible reasons for the veteran actress’s death. What made things even worse was the death certificate by Dubai Police which stated the cause of death as ‘Accidental Drowning.’
This gave rise to a whole lot of speculation from both the media and the general public. No one seemed to remember that a family was still mourning. The argument being made was that as Sridevi was a public figure, so the nation wanted to know about the reason for her death. In the mad rush to push theories about her death to grab eyeballs, news channels crossed all lines of human empathy.
#Indian media channels made #SriDevi’s death into a #media #circus. Scenes from her bathroom were portrayed. One with #BoneyKapoor standing in the bathroom & her in the bathtub. A #journalist even sat in a bathtub in order to re-enact her death. pic.twitter.com/mccp7ykMS4
— Banana Leaks 💥 (@banana_leaks) February 28, 2018
One Hindi news channel showed last 15 minutes of Sridevi in the bathroom, while another anchor stood next to a bathtub with a glass of wine on it. A Telugu channel morphed Sridevi’s visual in the bathtub with Bonney Kapoor standing next to it. English news channels were not far behind with random bathroom visuals and guests discussing all possible reasons for Sridevi’s death.
However, a Telugu news channel called Mahaa News went to the extent of putting their news anchor in the bathtub trying to explain something best known to him. During the Primetime and Super Primetime debates, doctors, forensic experts, and anchors all turned into detectives and began investigating an actual incident right from the TV studios.
No one denies the fact that it is the responsibility of the media to ask uncomfortable questions. But, what happened, in this case, is a clear attempt of grabbing maximum eyeballs by creating bizarre conspiracy theories. From blaming botox injections to questioning the need for drinking, everything was floated around.
— Filmfare (@filmfare) February 28, 2018
The Indian audiences are equally responsible for the media circus that has been created around Sridevi’s death. The sadist pleasure viewers get in watching some random theory or seeing some Bollywood husband being blamed for a crime without any proof is largely responsible for the current state of affairs.
It is our collective responsibility to ascertain that there remains a fine line between investigative journalism and invading the privacy of someone. Yes, a public figure is used to such attention, but at least during the time of such tragedies, we should ensure that they are left alone. As for the investigation, we have a legal system in place that will work as per the protocol.
So, please stop watching the ‘ Kaise hui Sridevi ki Maut’ or ‘Sridevi kay Aakhri 15 min’ shows that are being aired on news channels. If you are so keen on watching crime shows, there are many available on TV based on real events that you can watch. Stop watching the news anchors who are trying to become Sherlock Holmes.
In a perfect world, the Indian film industry would come together, identify every news outlet that stooped to such lows in their coverage of #Sridevi and cut them off… Show them they can't get away with this! But then again, in a perfect world, she would still be alive. R. I. P.
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) February 27, 2018
There is justified criticism of the TV media in the crass way they have covered Sridevi's tragic death. But there maybe an opportunity for TV media to redeem its image – what if some of them actually enact a funeral scene and jump in a real pyre and broadcast from there?
— Akhilesh Mishra (@amishra77) February 28, 2018