Tit bats of silver screen and mini screen

--Hashim Reza

It’s not only human being that has language. As media parishioners we feel screen, be it large or small, also has a language.

The language is not only understandable by its very nature but can also be felt and expressed in a diverse form.

Perhaps that is the reason why some people term it as “idiot box” which others refer to it as “idiot box”. If I am not wrong idiots some times also have wisdom. And that is the fine line to understand the language of the screen.

In our sub-continental perspective it is said that television had appeared on the stage as an entertainment media at its inception. But later the pundits or media experts opined that the small screen box be used essentially for three purposes i. e. information, education and entertainment. So the entertainment part comes as the last priority and now it has been termed an edutainment as well as infotainment media.

As time passes the larger canvas of the media is explored to entertain people through education as well as entertainment . To cite examples, I am emotionally referring to the to film like ” Tare Zamin Par” where Indian film actor Aamir khan had highlighted the plight of dyslexic child.

Similarly this Hollywood superstar recently made his much awaited debut on the television with a reality show” Satyamev Jayati ” (Truth alone prevails) raising the issue of speedy trial of those guilty of female feticide.

Chief Minister of the desert State of Rajthan of India Ashok Gehlot, whose state is blamed for this unlawful medical intervention, said Aamir’s show was true to its name and he had started a movement taking up an issue that concerned the entire country.

The 47 year old actor had promised to meet Gehlot with his request to expedite trial in the cases by bringing them under a fast track court.

In brief these are the examples of language of screen. I say language not languages as it is understood universally and this how the box is not always idiot rather it has wisdom too.

In this context I am delighted to quote the following excerpts from a lecture by the former Director General of British Broadcasting Corporation – Mark Thomson which he delivered on 19 June 2004

Building Public Value

Changes in technology combined with audiences who are more up for originality and creative challenge than ever mean that the potential and the need – for the BBC to build public value is greater than it ever has been.

Finally, we want to make it easier for people to find the content they want; in partnership with others, developing easy to use navigational tools.

Programnies and services that build public value

Universally available, outstanding, distinctive content has always been and remains the point of the BBC.

Active and informed citizenship

The BBC aims to support civic life and national debate by providing trusted and impartial news and information of the highest quality to help everyone to make sense of the world and to engage with it.

 

And we want to create many opportunities for people to become more active citizens, with more open debate and participation online and on radio, using our open centers and digital buses to engage people both with new technology and their local communities.

A revolution in learning

Next, we want to help bring about a revolution in learning, and by offering educational opportunities to audiences of every age, to contribute to the building of a society strong in knowledge and skills.

Connected communities

We also believe the BBC is an important builder of social capital, seeking to increase social cohesion and tolerance by enabling the UKs many communities to talk to themselves and each other about what they hold in common and how they differ.

Playing Global role in media, by being the worlds most trusted provider of international news and information, as well as by showcasing the best of British culture and talent to a global audience.

Hashim Reza is a Media Expert  and currently Director, National Institute of Mass Communication.