The evening news is blaring and Arnab Goswami is shouting in his trademark manner – Why?! We need that question answered! – but his face is incongruously impassive.
(His indignation seems superficial – is there a weariness to his hysteria?)
Now the panelists are screaming like a pack of rabid hyenas. News tickers below the picture – 2 of them! – scrolling relentless headlines of chaos and tragedy from around the world, glaring text in crimson above, and harsh music and an ominous bass line. This feels like reportage of the apocalypse.
My muscles are tense, and my breath slightly shallow.
News on Indian channels is designed to be anxiety provoking. Because anxiety is good for ratings.
An atmosphere of threat and fear arrests the attention of people, the anxiety as compelling as it is exhausting to the viewer.
Our brain can be thought of as having 2 parallel circuits – the limbic system ( the emotional brain), and the neocortex (the logical brain.)
These news channels are only pretending to give us facts, but are in fact attempting to manipulate our emotions.
Arnab is not speaking to our neocortex, he is screaming at our limbic systems.