The toxic effect of TV debates

The recent death of Congress spokesperson Rajiv Tyagi immediately after participating in a heated debate on television has raised serious concern over the growing culture of toxic TV debates. In recent years, the standard of debates has been going down with participants making personal remarks against one another. News, facts and truth have been replaced by noise, friction and tussle. From being platforms of discussion, the debates have turned into arenas of verbal bloodsport. The public discourse on national television, particularly the audience-based shows, is at a new low in terms of factual content, and a new high in terms of decibel and toxicity.
Rather than creating informed citizens, such shows are creating a frenzied mentality. The toxic communal debates often being organized by the TV channels are causing immense harm to the society. Many young people watch these debates at home with their parents and it will definitely affect them. It is time for the government to intervene and bring in some kind of regulations. Remember, the toxic primetime debates have consequences on the mental health of the anchors, the spokespersons, and the audience as well. All the stakeholders – from media houses to anchors and from spokespersons to the audience – are to be blamed for this. The media houses also need to introspect before it’s too late.