News has four cycles.
There is, first, the child, flapping its arms and legs and yelping in excitement at having been presented with a brand new shiny object, wondering what to do with it: toss it in the air? Kick it? Try and stuff it, whole and entire, into the mouth? (Think of days one and two of the aftermath of the Delhi rape, when 'coverage' was a series of increasingly shrill freeform yelps without coherence or substance but with lots of lung powering it.)
Then the teen, as volubly excited but with a greater awareness of his peers. (That channel had the Home Minister on the griddle and called for the resignation of the police commissioner? We need to ask for someone's resignation too. Oh and that other media house? It gave the victim a symbolic name - that's so cool; we need to give her a name too!)
Then the adult, who has outgrown the follies of youth and, cleansed his palate of the metallic aftertaste of adrenalin, discovers maturity, and fairness, and balance. (We reported the
Prem Panicker, Managing Editor, Yahoo! India
Journalist. Loves reading, writing; hates 'rithmetic.