The Keralan floodwaters are yet to recede. People are still stranded and trapped in their flooded homes, and thousands have been displaced. There is no electricity and drinking water. And there are dead bodies in the flood waters. The gravity of the floods and the extent of damage has been underestimated. The situation is indeed grave.
Sadly, the national media has failed to highlight the plight of Kerala. Caught up in minute-by-minute coverage of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee funeral. and Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas engagement, the national media seems to be have lost its plot.
The news media has put ‘public’ interest before ‘national’ interest. It is about time, the media gets its head out of the sand and lives up to its role as the watchdog. The media should always be on guard and alert to the actions of the state and particularly to those actions that are harming or endangering the interests and welfare of the citizens.
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Assistant Professor of Journalism, University of Delhi, Carmel Christy said the national media had ignored the situation in Kerala. She said about students from various universities in Delhi led a protest march on Saturday to make the government aware. “Kerala has been devastated.” In a statement, the EFLU students have criticized the Centre and national media.
Kerala floods have been catastrophic and the death toll continues to rise. Relief camps are sheltering thousands of people including children. There is a shortage of drinking water. And soon, it will be a hot spot for medical teams. Donations are being collected throughout India and internationally to help the people of Kerala. But this is not enough.
The government should declare Kerala floods as a natural disaster.