Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Bird flu and media

I hate this -- if things have gone out of control and don't know whom to blame, then point the finger at the media. I hate this not because I belong to the media. I hate it because it plainly makes no sense.

It's akin to shooting the messenger; because media is a carrier of information. Nothing more. Nothing less. Different media deal with different issues in different ways. And thus, the method of rendition and the diverse information contained therein serve differerent purposes to different people.

I am writing this because I was told that media has been blowing the bird flu incidence in India out of proportion. I would accept that observation as an individual's personal viewpoint, with which I disagree.

It's not true that media has been sensationalising the bird flu issue. Different media organisations have been treating the information in their own manner, and rightly so. No one has sensationalised it. No one has blown it out of any prorportion.

The issue here is information and not any proportion. In fact, the media has been carrying lot of details -- from the scientific, social and economic perspectives -- about the disease. I wish people were more bothered about the information rather than the way it is rendered.

UN's World Health Organisation site on avian influenza
Tamiflu

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