“Today mass media, specifically the visual media, plays a pivotal role in creating an atmosphere of awareness among the society. Visual Media refers to different communication channels or ways through which knowledge and information are conveyed to the viewers or the readers through knowledge, television, cinema, posters, etc. Whatever is supplied through the visual media has a fast and long-lasting effect on the minds of the viewers.”
With the rapid development of information and technology the visual media in the shape of cable TV, with multitudes of domestic ad foreign channels have reached almost every house, play a vital role in molding public opinion in various ways. It plays a very crucial role in educating, and entertaining the masses. Cable TV has changed the means and modes of entertainment and education. Sitting before a TV, one can pass and enjoy his leisure listening to music, viewing movies, learning techniques of bodybuilding, hearing sermons of religious saints, learning about lives of wild animals, birds, water creatures, knowing about space, and whatnot. During the election period, one can know the positions of political parties, their leaders, happenings at each part of the country and their impact on the election campaigning and all facts of electioneering, just sitting at home before TV.
Youngsters and teenage students are nowadays seen viewing the channels, as per their likings, if some are viewing the music, some are seen quenching their thrust of knowledge, viewing channels like ‘discovery’ or National Geography or History, etc. The image on the small screen thus has a significant impression on all, more particularly on the gullible children and on the teens. The young mind takes the reel as real and thus more often and more easily molded and motivated by the visual media. The present-day fashion, hairdressing, sexual liberties, dating and awakening towards the right of children, awareness among the women to their rights are because. of the role, visual media has played in society.
There is nothing wrong if visual media has so emphatic effect on the viewers, but the owner of the channels must understand it in the right perspective, that if they are showing something of violent nature, or sexual ritual like a rape scene, naked scene, then it can undermine the positivity of the role to be played by the media.
In a hysterical effort to excel from others, some channels are showing such scenes and images, which are of no importance and hurt the mind of viewers. Showing sexual and rape cases, with minute details by the anchor, and showing brutal scenes of murder, the channels have crossed the limit of ethics and morality. The TV coverage of the massacre of Gandhi Nagar Akshardham, Godhra’s burnt and churned bodies of victims lying in the bogies and outside create a feeling of hatred among the communities and motivate others to wreak vengeance. Obsessed by the monoamine of making fast bucks, the channels are competing with one another to stoop to any kind of absurdity, without considering even for a minute as to what effect such visuals have on society.
Whether the visual media haVe no responsibility towards the society? Whether the visual media should not desist from visualizing such scenes that are of inflammatory nature?
It is argued that the media’s role is to bring reality to the public, but then does showing of mutilated burnt churned bodies help the society or our nation in any way. Some of the channels are playing a very important role in awakening the common man against corruption, the rotten outdated rites still spoiling the society, the superstitions, the killing of the female unborn child, and such other evils prevailing in the society. These are very positive things that have resulted in putting the authorities at the vigil and the government to take steps in the right direction. ‘
Cinema is also a very important visual media, a source of entertainment that caters to the vast population throughout the world. With cable TV, being cheaper, and with a multitude of channels available, the number of cinema-goers has reduced considerably, yet, it has a great impact on the youth in their lifestyle, fashioning, dressing pattern, etc. Modern cinema has turned to violence and sex, and the obscenity presented in the movies has contributed to a gradual increase in crime and violence in society. The youth and teens tend to imitate the characters portrayed on the screen—copying the styles of heroes, in enticing and teasing the girls—are observed nowadays. The vulgar and sexual scenes of movies have a very negative and adverse effect on the minds of the gullible youth. The present-day goondaism, falling in love affairs by college and school boys and girls, opting for revealing dresses by the girls are some of the effects of the present-day movies.
Other visual media
Besides theatres, several video parlors have started taking place in cities, showing adult movies, blue films in a clandestine manner. Vulgar and naked sex scenes, encourage the youth to commit crimes, like rape, eve-teasing, kidnapping, etc., and diverted them to very wrong directions thus spoiling their life to the core of the abyss.
Visual media thus has an emphatic and motivating effect on society. The negative and adverse aspect of the visual media is needed censor by the administration. Films must be made with certain moral and noble ethical values, that have an educative and patriotic effect on society. The picturization of rape scenes, obscenities, crude violence must be made punitive by providing extra-legal teeth to IPC Sec. 292 (sale of obscene books), Section 293 (Obscene act and songs) and the indecent representation of women (Prohibition) ‘Act 1986 and other laws, so that the visual media actually have a role of positive social changes, education, patriotism, curbing corruption and evils prevalent in the society.