Role of Media in Kargil
Table of Contents
Discussion of the case
Analysis and conclusion
This paper attempts at evaluating the role of media in the Kargil war, which broke out in the summer of 1999, at a time when the Indian media was equipped enough to set the media agenda as well as present the war at an unprecedented scale. As mortals, we have never seen the war situations Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq or Afghanistan but only can perceive the images seen through media reportings. Therefore, many of our perceptions are based on the realism as created by the media owners. Introduction
The function of media through which they frame the news stories is called as Agenda-setting function of media. In the words of McCombs (2002), in a typical daily newspaper, over 75 percent of the potential news of the day is rejected and never transmitted to the audience (p.4). (Maxwell E. McCombs, 1993)
Media (or the press) has been said to inhere three basic roles, also called as the "three I's”. i.e. information, interpretation, and interest. (The Press - The press's many roles).
The limitation of media capacity to enable its thorough surveillant function explains their selectivity. Also called as the ‘Gatekeeping theory’ in mass communications, this along with Agenda setting media theory is closely related to Theory of Framing, according to which , gatekeepers (or the media), certain parts of an event/news are given more attention than the rest. This incomplete revelation can lead to biased opinions amongst different sections of the society, but all the three theories seem to have one point of parity- Media is empowered, has an agenda and transmits only that information which it wants to be channelized across to the public. Literature Review
“Journalists will say that war is too important to be left to generals. Reporting of war is too important to be left to reporters. Soldiers need to get involved in this.” -Maj Gen Patrick Brady - 1990
(former Public Relations Chief of US Army)
(HALI, 2000, August )
As opposed to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Kargil was the first war that witnessed an emerging technology driven media in the era of television. Indian media had experienced live war coverage and broadcast for the first time, and therefore exploited the opportunity to bring forth the war in front of the people as if it was being fought right in front of their naked eyes. With daily updates and minute detailing covered, it was also the first time for the Indian military when fearless correspondents and journalists , armed with their satellite artillery made sure they covered the Indian army’s every step towards victory to make us proud. It was rightly said after the First World War, is that "war not only creates a supply of news but a demand for it (Ajai K. Rai) . Media is definitely able to ‘sell war’ to its consumers given that it’s targeting and coverage is able to engage its consumers, which are mostly geographically concentrated in areas related to war. Armed by legendary conflict stories with Pakistan since Partition, media enhanced the platform available during war to display Kargil at its best, with one side devoted to the coverage of acts of superordinate bravery on the patriotic Indian side, and Anti-Pakistan agenda to display an adequate palette of sellable war at Kargil. “The essence of successful warfare is secrecy; the essence of successful journalism is publicity," says the preface to the British Ministry of Defence (MoD's) instructions to Task-Force bound correspondents during the Falklands war. (Ajai K. Rai) Military on one side is a hierarchical, disciplined and a closed culture contrasting to the independent and blurred code of conduct inhering Media. The latter is believed to have vested interest with prior set of goals for the agenda setting. Also known as the Fourth Estate, Media acted as...
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