Prerna is an enthusiastic and trans-disciplinary researcher. She is a graduate of Media Studies and has completed her Master’s degree in Gender studies from the University of Sussex. Academically she has invested her time in gender and sexuality studies and in the intersection of policy and urban plans and luckily she is putting her knowledge in practice too. She hails from a mass media background and we are going to get a lot of insight from her.
Prerna’s favorite TV show is one on Netflix, Dead to Me. If she has 25 hours in a day then with that extra one hour she would either choose to bake or sleep. She has recently baked a strawberry crumbled cookie and she loves it a lot. She would like to learn to design and making illustrations.
How mass media is influencing the young generation today?
Mass media affects our thinking patterns and ideologies irrespective of our age. Looking in terms of global perspective then we can say that mass media relates to everyone today. As a younger generation when we try to figure out the word or fit into the world; mass media is one of the important relations that exist. We largely consume mass media nowadays through newspapers, TV, and many other means. Therefore for the younger generation to know about where the world is heading to or where they fit in the world; mass media is one of the closest spaces of learning about it.
How the recent ‘black lives matter’ movements influence the ideologies of younger minds?
It influences everyone in a different way because it depends upon how each one will consume it and relate to it. The movement has consumed a lot of attention through media as it took place in the USA. In the recent past years, many such movements including the movement for farmer’s welfare has happened in our country. She questions the reporting of such movements by media. She questions the way media reports movements that are at home rather than addressing the ones in a foreign country.
Do you think the mainstream news media are curetting the right kind of content?
Here she wants to specifically say about the broadcast media because we see it the most at home. She says that in the last 5 years, broadcast media has deteriorated a lot. The content is presented depending upon the marketing strategy and sponsorship. She adds that media is the 4th pillar of democracy and we need to do justice to it. She says that morality and money should be mixed sensibly. Digital media is stepping up and building its reputation by putting down honest stories.
May we know your viewpoint on what changes can be brought to content strategy?
As a consumer, she would like to see honest media that brings news with correct analysis. She gives an example of Sushant Singh Rajput’s case where media is devoting too much attention unnecessarily. According to her, one should present the news in much better ways rather than showcasing the intimate details. Prerna wishes that media presents news sensibly, stories that are important, and more humane. Lastly, she wants to consume facts and not manipulated information from the media.
Can we know about some news organizations that people can follow to keep themselves updated?
- Alt NEWS India
- Factly – They present fact checks regularly.
She says that we should be pro-active consumers who will absorb the news and not just take it the way it comes.
Do you think that there should be action against manipulative information?
There are certain laws mostly related to Whatsapp and there’s nothing related to mass media. But according to her, there should be repercussions for manipulative information. Unfortunately in a present situation, there is a lot of information circulating that its manipulative.
Do you think that the young generation is making an effort to make changes in the law or will they be able to do it in the future? How would you motivate them to do it?
Prerna follows one of the RTI activists Sakid Gokhale because he continuously cross-checks and fact checks the information and applies for RTI responses. He has recently questioned regarding a group of people who have used the term ‘anti-national’. With all the responses that he got; he could say that there is no such word as ‘anti-national’. He told the media that there should be a language change and maybe the media wants to tell who these ‘anti-national’ people are.
As good citizens there are many apparatus available to us and younger people should follow RTI. There are certain professions that youngsters can take up to bring a change in the media.
Can the younger generation engage with the media in a better way going forward?
Younger people should take up the responsibility of fact checks which they really do. Some steps that we can look at are
- Who is funding the media that we are consuming? You can Google the media funding owner and analyze the news provided by the media.
- Always be objective and open to many sides of the story. Do not stick to one opinion and consume from multiple platforms to know better.
- One must constantly question the purpose of the news. Have a ‘who’ and ‘why ‘questions and discuss it with friends and others.
Can a normal consumer raise a volume and can address the matter?
Unfortunately with the changing environment, it is a little harder to raise a question without an attractive negative spotlight. The concept of a citizen who questions does not exist but it should not stop us from questioning. It is tricky to say how many times it will be addressed positively. Apart from RTI, no other sources are answerable to us.
How many years have you devoted to this field?
she is in the filed for 6 years now and that includes 6 internships in a span of 3 years.
How to make an opinion about any incident or issue?
Prerna says that she will not only rely on the media but go deeper into the facts. She would not only have thoughts based on presence but she would dig out the history of the incident. It is then it is easier to consume what media is saying about the incident and then make an opinion about it. We should choose what we are comfortable with and mainly follow our research, relationship development with the media, and gut feeling. When we merge all these points together then it will help in making an opinion.
She has provided quite informative points on mass media and the importance of fact checks. She says that she would love the audience to consume media wisely and be an active consumer.
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