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Tabloid India

Indian media today report news recklessly, and, in the interest of ratings, focus on ephemera that have no impact on the public welfare. But trivializing public discourse and abdicating their responsibility as facilitators and protectors of democracy has cost Indian journalists dearly in terms of public trust.

NEW DELHI – When the Bollywood superstar Sridevi Kapoor drowned last month, at age 54, in a bathtub in a Dubai hotel, coverage of her tragic death once again showcased all that is wrong with Indian media. Sridevi – who, after a 15-year hiatus, had made a spectacularly successful return to the silver screen in two mega-hits in the last six years – led a modest and conventional life with her husband, film producer Boney Kapoor, and their teenage daughters. She did not dress or behave in ways that would serve as tabloid fodder or fuel lurid speculation.