• Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022
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Can the media survive without Pori Moni?

  • Published at 07:24 pm August 7th, 2021
Pori Moni
FILE PHOTO: The Rapid Action Battalion’s raid on Pori Moni’s residence came months after she accused a businessman of trying to rape and murder her at the Dhaka Boat Club Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Crony media is about cronies, not media

It's impossible not to see Pori Moni on every screen or page. She is all-encompassing and truly total. Everyone is gorging on her and the hungry public is reading and hearing and either wishing she was here with them or thank god that woman and her gang aren't destroying the innocence of Dhaka's lumpen men who are oh ... so helpless.

But the crisis is not in the sexual threat that Pori Moni poses to many. Certainly not in the liquor and yaba shaba which anyone who matters takes but the media ... The Pori Moni episode has exposed that Bangladesh's media is unable to survive unless it’s force-fed with news and sources call them up and tell them what has to be written in many cases.

Corona reporting exposed the crisis

Quality reporting on the pandemic is very low and one reason is that most media workers are unable to access quality information. The reasons are many. They are not the top layer of the class in many cases. Their skill in English is weak which prevents them from info access. And nobody ever trained them in the complex issues of public health reporting. So what they did was stick to numbers and figures. The highest infection rate in three months, highest infection since last week, highest death, higher death, death…

Also Read - Is it tackling dengue or tackling Pori Moni?

At least nobody can accuse them of serious reporting but the problem is deep.

Can crony media survive without cronies?

An odd media crisis is that there are more media outlets than media workers so a decline in standard was inevitable based on over demand and low supply. Media investors are not investing to gain prestige like before which has now become impossible given the infighting within the crony media world but clout against each other.

So media A is saying to media B that if you print anything against me, I will print something against you. It's this tit for tat policy that is leading to more media outlets and hence the need for more workers.

Also Read - Pori Moni, Raz placed on 4-day remand in narcotics cases

So it doesn't matter if the media is of minimum quality or not. Essentially if they can get it uploaded its media never mind what it says. Crony media is about cronies, not media.

The Pori Moni threat and dividend 

The night Pori Moni walked into the club and did whatever she did, and then went public with her accusations, her days were numbered. She had violated a sanctified space and the hit back was inevitable. She and her troupe live off the rich's money so threatening them doesn't work and it didn't.

Also Read - CID takes over Pori Moni’s narcotics case

But what she did was provide sensational stories that everyone loves to read but no one believes because it's so one-sided. People are asking who were the people who were close to her, patronized her and so on. But of course, it doesn't matter because the entire matter is neither about her nor wine and yaba but making sure everyone knows where power lies and how it can act if threatened.

Meanwhile on with Pori Moni and all the stories including about the poor policeman whose investigations went a little too deep and landed in the zones of the heart, or at least that's what the media is saying.