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  • Writer's pictureHaripriya Sridharan

A quest for clarity: A perspective to cut through the clutter; Redefining news

The word ‘Constitution’ and the means of running a democratic government has become a joke for a decade now. (Wow! I know it sounds strong for a set!) It does reflect a concern about how these concepts are perceived and implemented in this contemporary society.


Let me start with news platforms..


I couldn't watch any specific news channel or stick to any online platform these days. Often, they seem to be overflowing with,

  • News, that is a pure bias and predominantly stemming from the viewpoint of the ruling party (or)

  • Reports opposing the stance (unfortunately!), as most of what is driven by the channels have overshadowed the original context of events.


It has always been a fight.

With recent events, its a pressing concern. Where separation of religion and state is being forgotten and would be too late before we recover!

We are slowly losing the humanitarian values and regressing back to the mentality of wartime eras.


We were people, once. Now, we are sheep, being herded.


People do not tend to read news articles as just a means to understand what is happening around the world. With the advent of recommendation platforms, the news consumption has become more tailored, where people tend to read only what aligns with their interests or beliefs.


This shift prompted me to turn to traditional newspapers, seeking a different perspective. "Under the assumption" that each piece of news had been filtered, shaped, and approved by so many hands before reaching the reader and hence can be trustable to some extent.



However, I soon came to the sobering realisation that my expectations were naive,(too naive)! These traditional outlets were not immune from the very issues I was hoping to escape. More often than not, their content also fell into either of the troubling categories.



It also made me reflect on the past, a time when there were no immediate outlets like what we have now; To express and share opinions freely.


Back then(before internet), the lack of platforms to promptly 'blurt out' thoughts must have made it even more challenging to find unfiltered, genuine perspectives.


 Now, despite social media's flaws, it does greatly offer a space for diverse voices, a positive aspect in an otherwise complex media landscape.


 

This whole situation got me thinking about the concept at data-driven news platform. The idea is to use open data to cut through all the bias and give a straight-up, factual view of what's happening around the world.


Imagine a medium that tracks,

  • Diseases outbreak across states, Graphed. (Like during the pandemic, how we had live covid case count updates)

  • Historical development of roadways constructed over the years.

  • Progression of literacy rates

  • Trend out long term employment rates; A view of labor market dynamics.


Am I being too optimistic? Some part of it has already been implemented in few first world countries.


This is so that we get to,

  1. Prioritising Essential News: You know, health, rainfall, food crisis, global warming, just the stuff of survival 😊

  2. Informed decision making: Say, a court case can be evidenced better when there is data to support, maybe?

  3. Depth Over Distraction: All Personalised, celebrity news can be overhauled. Let there be a different medium to cover it up, (including the selfie booth promotions 😊).  

  4. Fact-based insights: Demonstrating whether crime rates have decreased/increased due to specific community programs, rather than relying solely on opinions or anecdotes, maybe?)

  5. Real-Time Updates: Say, debates on preventing from genocide happening in the world taking precedence over construction of a holy temple? Mmmm, or, maybe what policies do we have in place and what has been implemented so far? or what really “War Crime” means?)

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