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When we consider how ineffectual our political system and our elected representatives are, we often wonder what we can do to make them accountable or care. Obviously, seeing the recent barrage of films and reportage, we believe that the media is responsible to a very large extent in the lack of accountability. In much the manner that in a democratic set-up we elect representatives, we also ‘elect’ our media to play an important role in defining our thoughts, opinions and in ensuring that we remain protected and taken care of at all times. The easiest way for the media to do this is through responsible journalism – by not distorting the news, not grabbing eyeballs just for TRPs, not sensationalising but simply stating facts and pointing out areas that have gone awry. So, very simply, if the political dailies were to – every week or fortnight or month – run an impartial page on a political ‘balance sheet’ – a report on what promises were made at the time of contesting an election, and what the current standing is for all our elected reps., where the problems have occured and what is expected now…. This can’t be an occasional expose that happens in India Today or TOI etc, but rather, a regular accountability system that keeps the people abreast and the reps on their toes. So, you can’t fake it, you gotta do it and then find yourself written about and held accountable. This would keep the political media busy enough that they don’t need to create drama and fanfare over trivial issues, and political debates that lead nowhere, but rather an administrative system of checks that we can refer to at the time of elections.

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