“Panchayat election …this is all what this paper contains” says Madhavan, a farmer pointing a major Malayalam daily. For last one month, reading newspaper is just for a namesake. Reports of local election campaigns take up the lion’s share in these dailies. Television channels also ape the same.
News of local government elections interests only a small mass of public. For others, the places and candidates are strange. A newspaper reader who resides in Kottayam is not at all curios about who is the candidate in a ward in Wayanad district. So naturally, he will skip those news columns. It will arouse interest in them if there is a peculiarity in that ward. That too, will be read only when it is presented in a unique manner. Giving such news in local news section is understood. Here it is covering majority space in local, state and national pages of a daily.
In case of news channels, they always provided news as a capsule from around the globe within a time span of 30 minutes. Now this new shift focusing on local areas seems awkward. And the other side of news channels in particular, is as soon as the election is over; they won’t even care what is happening in these wards which they had once highlighted as their top story.
It does not mean they should not mention a single word about the ballot vote. The time-line and space is to be reduced. Local news is meant to be local until it has a global importance.