Vivek Trivedi

ENGINEER-MECHANICAL, University of Oldenburg

This conversation is closed.

To have control on print and electronic media, making it mandatory to publish some percentage of "any" positives happening around

I am proposing this idea, because at times, I find no control on the news which is being spread by different mediums,it is either biased or too negative. I completely agree over the fact that media is mirror of what's happening in the society, but when they completely forget their responsibility to publish positives happening around, and there is no control on media houses for doing this in free society. It is not asking about controlling what they print, its all about proposing to publish at least some percentage of news which brings a positive outlook from everybody, for example: Success stories of people who brought little but significant changes, steps taken for environment concerns by individuals etc and there may be many more. By glorifying good works of commoners, which do happen at every level of society, it will give a boost to many others who want to start something positive but backout for not being noticed. Being practical, I would consider here that nothing is completely selfless in this world. Consider the kind of news we are being fed everyday:
Politics, crimes, entertainment, strange surveys on relationships, meaningless researches which do not yield anything positive but keeps coming everyday.

Its all about forcing media houses to publish at least something positive on the front page, and on their portals, and there can be an international vigilance body to monitor all electronic media.

I am asking it to be "forced", because all the news around us, isn't helping us anyways.

Aren't you fed up with the words like, loot, murder, rape, racism, attack, violence, strikes, scams, terror suspects, bomb plots etc etc, and this idea is not to oppose these reporting, but its all about bringing forward small positives, no matter if it come forcefully!

Will deeply appreciate views of TED members.

Note: Deleted the word government from the idea, it may be any independent body which can be trusted and accepted.

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    May 9 2012: You have very good intentions, but I am against forcing media to broadcast or write any type of particular set of news.

    You are right though in your analysis about the media in the democratic countries. I shall say even more than you said. Media is not just a mirror of the reality. The media is also the forger (designer) of the mental reality in us and around us, particularly affecting the children & adolescents. Openly, the media likes to underestimate its role in affecting our lives, because it wants to evade the burden of the responsibility laid on its shoulders for the obvious deterioration of our modern society. When I say media I mean to the broader context including also the entertainment industry of movies, music, TV reality shows and so on. The Reporting Media has been more specialized in developing the News industry. And all this is done ONLY for the sake of earning more money, more power on the masses, more influence on the policy makers. In this sense, these industries remind the traditional institutionalized religions which also have become kind of an industry to suck the money of the masses and to gain power over them. What's common to the media and the institutionalized religions that they both act in the name of some noble principles: The one in the name of God and the another in the name of Freedom. But the both industries, like all industries, care more for the size of their back accounts or other benefits.

    Saying all this, I am still against forcing upon media what you suggest. But I side with forcing upon it measures relating to their honesty, relating to giving complete & true information to their consumers and so on. That's why I suggested in my original comment to the talk, JP Rangaswami: Information is food, that the media should be forced to attach to its reports their credibility levels as rated by their consumers. It's exactly like forcing food manufacturers or cigarettes manufacturers to attach warning to their products.
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      May 9 2012: I honestly admire your views, and also got deep insights to the problem from the things you have shared. I am also partly convinced that forcing something is not the wisest idea around, but what can be other way out? Do you see any other thing apart from controlling it forcefully? Preaching these things to media houses is of no use, I have tried many times escalating the false and utterly misleading information being published by them. I feel helpless at times, when I see no control over it. Even in the end of any news, we have been left with the option..."Do you like this story?"..... Can social media be useful in protesting against this?
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        May 9 2012: Controlling it forcefully has so many anti arguments and reasons. It's against democratic values, it's against democratic laws. Also, what you hate might be favored by others. For example I am repelled by most of the reality shows, but I am in minority with this. The majority of people get deeply indulged in those shows or even get addicted to them.

        You should keep in mind that big changes do not occur briefly or suddenly. It's a matter of long processes and related also to a change in the awareness of the masses. Feeling helpless about things you don't like and cannot change, is common to many other people and happen all the time with countless other matters in your life. The trick is, on the one hand keep protesting in a legitimate manner as much as you can, but on the other hand, not letting yourself getting over-frustrated and over-annoyed by this.

        The way you protest here and try to find others thinking like you is one of the ways. Social media can definitely be a very good way to spread your thoughts. The point is you have to be persistent, patient and try taking everything in a proportionate & balanced manner without giving up the zeal you have to make the desired changes.
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          May 9 2012: I am moved by your thoughts and words. I do and will keep trying my level best to see these changes. I shall also try rephrasing my question for the same... Thanks a lot for your help and guidance.
    • May 24 2012: "It's not a production issue, it's a consumption issue."
      Put your self on a "Consumption Diet." Each one of our bodie's senses consumes. We consume our environment's information by sight, sound, taste, scent and touch.
      We cannot control what environments are available, however we can control what environment we allow ourselves in. Be it the movies we watch, the books we read, the websights we visit, the biases we give into, the people we surround ourselves with, the air we breath, the bed we rest on or the perspectives we have; we have the ability to govern our individual habitat and reality. It all regards what we come into contact with, and from there what we choose to remember.
      Exercise focussing what it is in your environment that you can change. Exercise recognising a perspective that uplifts you, listening to music that uplifts you. Exercise reading what interests you.
      I guess what I am trying to make point about, is that we cannot monitor the masses. We can only monitor what we choose to listen to, look at, question about, etc...
      Thank you.
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        May 28 2012: It’s both. The both parties should control themselves. If you have read my above posts in this debate, you have seen that I control fairly well my consumption. But I do not think only about myself. Children and adolescents cannot easily go into Consumption Diet. It’s like us when we were children. Here needs to be the responsibility of the producers, manufacturers….. etc.

        I did not say we have to monitor the masses. I said we have to monitor those who monitor the masses, like the media, food producers like McDonald and others, cigarettes manufacturers, etc. I have suggested above how to monitor them fairly, without violating their legitimate rights. Partly it is already has being done. But to dump everything just on the consumption issue is like suggesting to throw piles of 100$ bills at the middle of a bustling road in a downtown, and then saying that the responsibility for so many people who rushed to collect the bills and got ran over by cars, is only of these people because they did not control their consumption habits.
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    May 8 2012: First they came for the environmentalists I said nothing as I was not an environmentalist, then they came for the academics I said nothing as I was not an academic, then they came for the Tedsters I said nothing as I was not a Tedster, then they came for me no one said anything as there was no one left.
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    May 8 2012: strange double mindset you have. you appreciate the views of others, yet you seek ways to silence media by law. what if their view is to deliver what sells the best? what if murders and earthquakes interest more people? would you like to discuss it, or just shut their mouth? what if someone decides to shut your mouth? why your first solution is force? why do you want to use violence and force in order to avoid hearing about violence and force?
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      May 9 2012: Hi Krisztián, I am not sure if you have understood completely what I wanted to convey or may be I wasn't able to explain my exact feelings. Anyways, I would like to request you firstly, not to take the word "FORCE" otherwise.. Its all about projecting the positives, because it can yield spectacular results in human mindsets. I just went through this talk http://www.ted.com/talks/jp_rangaswami_information_is_food.html; where Mr Rangaswami has also emphasized the fact of taking information seriously as we take our food.
      It is evident for media houses the negativity sells, and they are trying to cash this very fact as much as possible, and there is no control over this, in electronic media, word like scams, corruption etc fetch more clicks then any other news.

      My solution is never force, its just putting a watchdog to take care of some small fraction of mandatory positives happening all around us. If they will come in a control way, what's the harm do you see in it?

      I am not discouraging that other news shall not make headlines, I am just proposing mandatory inclusion of positives through media. and obviously, there shall never be any use of violence over it and it is not for glorifying the different governments, its about bringing forward the success stories of small town heros.

      Please let me know if you need more clarification on it.
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        May 9 2012: without force, what do you think "mandatory" means? what will those watchdogs do if they find the prescribed ratio not met?

        the food example is a case of using one bad solution as a precedence for another bad solution. many governments try to regulate food to promote heathy eating. this is a complete waste of time, and an intrusion to personal space. only by educating the people, can we go forward.
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          May 9 2012: Intrusion in personal space for good reasons and with honest intentions shall not be taken otherwise. We all are outcome of what we consume, and it is true for information also. Mandatory is just a word used here, and not a forced law. What I have proposed here is an idea and not a law. You have every reason to rebut, but it can help us if you have something to bring forward in the form of any improvement. What's your idea to curb this menace? I have very examples to site here, but can't because of word limitations, where these so called "news" are tempering the way we treat others. Specially in India, the suspicious nature that every human has developed in them towards other is the result of this so called "news". Please take my idea in broad perceptive, its not all about using force, there is something positive also in it, which can be discussed seriously instead of completely writing it off.
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        May 9 2012: what do you mean by good reason? you want to interfere with my life for my sake? thanks, but no thanks. i'm an adult person, and i can decide what kind of news i want to read. i don't need you or any watchdog to tell me what to do. if you can't decide for yourself what sources to pay attention and what not, you can hire someone to filter news for you.

        mandatory is just a word use. that is my point, not yours. mandatory means forced. you just play with words saying it is not forced but mandatory. it is force in the rawest sense. not complying news agencies will be fined and finally shut down. their workers will lose their jobs, and families will left without income. it is not some theoretical framework. we deal with actual people here. you want to destroy the life-long work of someone because you have a different idea what they should do with their own newspaper or tv channel which they created and maintained. this is in no sense different than putting a gun at their head, and force them to leave and give up their property. it is literally the same as armed robbery.
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          May 9 2012: If you will start looking at something with completely negative mindset, you will find hundred flaws in and ignoring even simple goods. I am not trying to play with words, just trying to convey my thoughts with the limited linguistic skills I have. You are an adult and you are sane enough to decide what's best food for your mind, but why do you want to ignore rest of the population, who is getting crazier day by day because of bombardment of negative information on them? Don't they have right to read positives in the same news.

          I am sorry Krisztian, but with your mindset, your conclusions are completely valid for you, but they can't be generalized, and believe me there is always a scope for improvement, no matter if it is not my way or if it is your way, but there has to be something. Its same like google added positive psychology section to its news columns. The basic thought is to prevent the influence of negative information around us, if it seems like an armed robbery to you, I would appreciate better ideas from you instead of leaving things as it is.
          I have also added a talk by Peter Diamandis in which it is discussed initially. Again, I am just asking you the way to prevent it, rebutting is perfectly fine, but I will appreciate kinder words.
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        May 9 2012: i don't have a negative mindset. i have the most positive mindset ever. i trust people and their decisions. i trust that they can arrange their lives. i believe that if anything, they need some education and information. but i don't think we need to babysit people.

        you say that i can select news, and i assume you can too, but others can't? what kind of arrogance is that? what makes you that much better? what makes you so special that you believe your world-view fits other people better than their own world-view?

        and what is that aggression? if you think other people are wrong, how can be your first thought not education, arguments but some legislation that makes other opinions unlawful?

        google added positive psychology? and they were forced by what agency? none? you see, that is what we need. if there is demand, someone will work on it, and create supply. that is what we want to do. raise awareness, talk about it, argue, try things, create new services, and let people do their stuff freely.

        and what is that outrage that you need "kinder words"? you plan to put a gun at people's head, and command them to comply with your demands. and then you want kind words? you are planning to destroy lives, destroy fruits of life-long work and effort, but you dislike harsh words? come on.
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          May 9 2012: Dear Krisztian, I have never opposed anything you said, I just proposed one idea. and when you say aggression, I leave it to readers discretion for all above arguments. I asked for kinder words because you started your answer with "strange double mindset you have", which obviously seem judging somebody and imposing your judgement on them. You have every right to dislike, but passing your own perceptions about others, is what I find very uncalled for.

          For me, you are seeing things from narrow perceptive or may be from the perceptive of a developed country. If you explore more about Indian media, you will come to realize it is already enslaved and may be my idea is not suitable considering the wider audiences.

          I beg your pardon for this, but I am not a self proclaimed person, who can insist that I have most positive mind set ever. There are certain limitations to put forth your arguments, be it TED or be it any other platform, your comments and your personal thoughts reflect that its not the "most positive" outlook.

          If you could had understood the gist of the message I wanted to convey, we could had extracted something fruitful and meaningful out of completely negative statement, but you chose otherwise.

          Believe me mate, its just an idea, not going to imposed on you, you have every right to disagree, but throwing so many question marks to the person who is starting the argument, is not going to help anyone. I expected constructive discussion, destroying life is the last thing I can think of. Just go through what Yubal has written, he also opposes the idea, but he fetches respect from whosoever read it.

          Thanks for your contribution.
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        May 9 2012: don't twist my words. i didn't claim that you enforce your views on me. i said you want to enforce them on news providers. you repeatedly said so, and you didn't demonstrate the opposite. it is "merely being an idea" is not an excuse. the idea is to enforce your view on others, and that is why the idea is wrong. but not wrong as bad. wrong as immoral.

        how my argument is dependent on the development level of a country? in a poor country, it is acceptable to enforce your views on others? why?

        media enslaved by who? if the media is enslaved, what is the merit in imposing more rules on them? in that case, you will need to regulate the enslaver instead. but it would be even better to free media, so it is not enslaved.

        i am talking about the gist of your idea. i never talked about anything else. the gist of your idea is to ban behavior you don't like. a news website for example does not want to report positive news. but you go there and say "either you put positive news up, or you will be shut down, and your income will be gone.". that is your idea. that is what we are talking about.
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          May 9 2012: Ohh I am sorry, You got it completely wrong and I would say its height of misinterpretation and then also it is going into an endless argument.

          The gist of my story is NOT "to ban what I don't like", let them publish they are already doing, its all about asking a dedicated space to bring forward something positive everyday.. its not about blocking anything.. where did I say to filter the news?

          I feel sorry for myself that I fell short of words to explain my idea. Blocking something is worst thing that can be proposed, and here in India, I am part of group who are protesting against the ban on social media!

          Gist of my story is : To have a dedicated space for positives, its all about adding something..I am not advocating deleting-blocking or any kind of filtering.

          By saying media is enslaved, I mean, there is some section of media which presents the rosy picture always against the misdeeds of some influential people.

          To summarize:
          -- I am completely against any kind of blocking or filtering of news that is being interpreted by you, the idea I proposed here is to open a dedicated department in media houses to bring forward the positive things happening at very small levels and that too on a regular basis.

          May be you can suggest better words to frame my questions, any contribution is welcome whole heartily.
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        May 9 2012: you fall into the common trap of wanting hills with no valley. a news website front page or a tv channel has limited time and space, also limited work hours. if you force them to show some news, you implicitly force them to exclude some others.

        again. the situation is simple. they are the service provider. i am the customer, and i want to get their services. we agree on that. you have no right to interfere. if you do this, you commit aggression on us. that is simple.
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          May 9 2012: If you have understood my intentions, I would request you to suggest something in this direction, leaving things as they are, is not the solution. May be you can also suggest to rephrase my question.
      • May 24 2012: I hope it is so: it is freedom and we the people's interest that govern this country... We have the freedom to sell nearly anything that abides the science's moral code, and the freedom to buy anything that is sold. We have the freedom to create and innovate, to start up businesses. Freedom, and we the people may govern this country, but the businesses we create control this country. I wish the people who complain about the presidential government and how things are run, would take a stand and develop a business.

        The last business standing will be true president of this country.