Thursday, February 19, 2009

MMS and Media

Today the front page of Hindustan Times carried a news item of another MMS case in Noida that came into the limelight after an email was leaked. The question I'd like to ask is that extensive publicity of such stories is doing good or bad to the society and to the victims of such cases. The matter is worse on TV. Channels fighting for TRPs and sponsors frequently play such blurred clips in the name of news. It can be argued that such highlighting will prevent such acts from happening but what about the victims? But lets also remember the victim is a victim of his/her own crime. The video was shot with consent of the victim and not forcibly done.

DEV.D shows an instance where the father of girl involved in an MMS committed suicide. In a recent real incident a 16 year old Mangalore ram sene riot victim took her life after her clip was aired on practically every national news channel. There is a clear reason to be more sensitive to the victims of such cases, where revealing the identity can have disastrous consequences.

I appreciate the media activism that has definately helped in cases such as the jessica lal murder case or the shivani bhatnagar case, but when it has come to matters related to sex, I've seen some over enthusiastic kids making a mockery of news.

The results of highlighting the MMS controversy are clear in the google trends (pic above), that lists 'noida mms' , which I believe will be up for download on porn websites. The news papers and media sources might get the sponsors and money, but without any concrete regulatory checks and guidelines in extremely personal matters, editors would need better self regulation for safeguarding the interest of victim's future.