A king under a car park : Lessons on Modern Media

Richard III is one of the famous works of Shakespeare. In reality Richard III may not have been not more murderous than the kings in those centuries. It appears that he was not as deformed as Shakespeare portrays him. Winners, not losers, write history. When Shakespeare wrote this play, Queen Elizabeth I ruled England; Elizabeth was a descendant of the King who overthrew Richard III. The idea that Richard was a monster and not a legitimate ruler of England was spread in the Elizabethan era. Shakespeare likely was conforming to the general idea as it may have been dangerous for him to suggest otherwise.

Ricardians are people interested in altering the image of Richard III, posthumously. A society of Ricardians has paid for a reconstruction of the face of Richard III from his skeletal remains recently located under a parking lot in London. They feel this to be an important exercise to present the long dead king with a human face. This commitment to giving a dead king back his dignity after more than five hundred year is amazing. Reconstruction of the face is not going to enable one to reconstruct history. This incidence highlights the incredible way of how people in power can alter facts and paint a wrong picture of someone.

Corporations control media in the modern world. Media independence is a myth, especially in developing countries. For example, the focus on the top 5% of the population in India skews what gets reported. Reports on the 95% is focused on distress events. The educated and the intellectuals make decision based on fictionalized reality presented by media. It is an interesting phenomenon about how even informed citizens can start believing in these myths. It is good to learn a lesson from the Ricardians and change the course of history even as it is being written. It is also important to have more journalists with a spirit of inquiry who are focused on FACTS - Fairness, Accuracy, Comprehesive, Truth.