Media Dumbing Down has claimed its first victim. The lowly journalist of esteemed journalism is dead. RIP.

And the even more ignoramus breed of the film journalist is, well, in the ICU. Probably battered by the grammar Nazis and brutalized by the thought of doing ‘research’ on any of his subjects.

The latest, in a long line of goofs, bad use of grammar and just ignorance comes in the wake of one-time superstar Vinod Khanna being diagnosed with probable gall bladder cancer.

A website (oh yes, that mushroom of average content platforms and ‘anything goes’ creative) has proudly put up a photograph of VK with a screaming headline stating, ‘Legendry (don’t miss the spelling of ‘Legendary’; but that’s not the main error here) Actor Rajesh Khanna’. Blasphemy!

Bollywood News Vinod KhannaApart from the Khanna surname, the now dead superstar (probably laughing at the new babu moshais of journalism) has nothing in common with Vinod. They even lived in different corners of the city.

Hopefully, the website is now chastened and has gone on a corrective path. Unlikely though. Because correction comes from experience, education, research and a command of the language you write or speak in. Preferably all of the above. But to find even one quality is rare.

Example: A journo at a Rani Mukherjee press conference stands up and asks in Hindi, “Actresses are like pickles in a dish. Only the side flavor, never the main dish. How come you do heroine oriented roles?” Rani was appalled and ticked the reporter off.

Recently, one reporter obsessed over where Aamir would migrate to since he made the ‘intolerant’ statement. Aamir was more embarrassed on stage than the rest of the media community put together off it.

Shah Rukh was asked, ‘What do you keep in your car?” by one bubbly female. His reply, Registration papers? Tissues? Chargers? And Varun Dhawan sniggered in the background.

A quote by Mahesh Bhatt was attributed to Pooja Bhatt and all hell broke loose. And of course, the great big daddy of all thought-provoking questions by intense reporters, as they stare at a star and ask, “Aapko kaisa lag raha hai? How do you feel? … Tell us about your role?” Ritesh Deshmukh answered best, “It’s a chicken roll. I roll with a chick in the scene.”

Like a PRO put it succinctly, “These reporter rajus and ranis are not interested in journalism, language, decorum or research. They come up five minutes an interview and ask for ‘dope’ on the star. ‘Anything we can ask?’ they ask us!!! And then they do their shit. The only reason they arrive is to take selfies and post on social media. I guess it keeps their careers alive. This is what happens when organizations hire cheap labour to save costs. And they sack the dumbos if a star complains.”

Sigh! Gone are the days of intelligent, witty racy, investigative interviews. Even the celebrity chat-shows are all film-focussed. No wonder dumbing down is passé. At the rate it’s dying, it’s more dead(ly) journalism now.

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