While in Kulu Manali, Osho answers a question by M. Achana of Nawabanath, India: “Have you a message for the press?”
Certainly. The press should be absolutely free, and the freedom of press includes television, radio, and all news media. Nothing should be in the control of the government, because the government has all the powers, and individuals have no powers. Who is going to fight for them, and who is going to protect them against the government?
The press to me is more important than the politicians. But it is important only if it is free. For example in this country, the press has not fought that the television should not be government-owned, that the radio should not be government-owned. They should be public enterprises. Then the press can fight for individuals who have no power, but the press can give them great power.
I was myself once an editor, and I resigned from the post because everything had to be pro-government. Truth is not the criterion. The poor individual is not to be protected. Government is already powerful and the press also joins with the government. That was one reason I resigned. I said, “I will say what I feel is the truth, whether it goes against the government or anybody.”
Second thing I found, that they are not interested in any good news. They are interested only in rapes, murders, suicides, divorces, scandal. And I told them that these are dangerous. There may be a million men, and only one man rapes, and he becomes news. What about the remaining?
I told to my owner of the press, that a man has confessed in France that he killed a stranger whom he had never seen. He killed him – he was sitting on the beach – from behind. Even while killing he had not seen him. There was no enmity, but he wanted to be a celebrity, his photos all over the press, and he has achieved his goal. So giving prominence to evil, you are supporting evil. Rather than raising the consciousness of the people, rather than being teachers, you are simply following their lower instincts. You are not serving humanity. You are poisoning humanity. I cannot do that. It does not matter that a man commits suicide. In four billion people around the world, if a man commits suicide, so what? You cannot find anything else worth, newsworthy?
Those four billion people must be doing thousands of things, somebody must be making a beautiful painting; that should be on the first page. Somebody should be carving a statue; that should be on the first page. But your first page is devoted to criminals and politicians, who are really two sides of the same coin. In my definition, the successful criminal becomes the politician and the unsuccessful politician becomes criminal; so there is not much difference.
Politicians should be thrown to the fourth page, and they should not be given importance. Who is making them great? Adolph Hitler was retarded, he could not pass any examination; he was refused from art academy, architecture academy, wherever he applied he failed in the admission examination. And this man became world’s one of the greatest leaders. Who made him? If the press had simply ignored him, there would have been no second world war. More than Adolf Hitler, the press is responsible.
Life consists of both things, roses and thorns, but why pay so much attention to thorns? Roses should be brought to the people. It is a psychological revolution. If a person reads every day about evil, slowly slowly he feels evil is the way of life. Slowly slowly he feels that even if he commits it, there is no big deal. Everybody is doing it.
And the good is ignored. The readers think that good does not happen anywhere because there is no news. They have even created a proverb, that “No news is good news.” That should be changed, “Bad news is no news. Only good news is the news.”
In California universities have conducted a one-year survey, about why evil fluctuates; sometimes it reaches a height, sometimes it falls down. And they were surprised that whenever there is a boxing match, evil rises to thirteen percent than the normal; and it continues at least for one week before it normalizes again. Rapes happen, murders happen, suicides happen. If boxing is creating a thirty percent raise in the evil, then boxing should be absolutely stopped. It is the criminal really. And no newspaper should report about boxing. It is ugly, but that ugliness gives people that you can also be ugly. To be ugly is not bad.
News media has to play a great and important role. First, freedom from government; second ignoring the bad, which is very minute compared to the good; and thirdly, creating a forum for each problem to be openly discussed. And the whole news media can be involved in it, in open discussion. That is human; it is not human that holding a sword in your hand and Koran in your other hand and telling “You can choose.” This is not argument. This does not prove that the Koran is right. It simply proves that the man does not want to die.
Things have changed. Christians are also coming in one hand bread, in another hand Bible. But to satisfy one’s hunger is not giving intelligence, is not giving the right to choose what is good and what is wrong. Whether the Bible is wrong or right, hunger cannot decide it.
The press has a great responsibility, but man has come of age. These are primitive methods of deciding who is right. We have intelligence, we can argue, we can go to the subtlest argument, and the whole press should be available. And out of that argument, a conclusion which will be more unanimous, not mine or not somebody else’s, will come out.
News media is the very soul of the century. Right now it is not so. It only creates sensationalism, it only fulfills people’s demands. In economics they have a theory, wherever there is demand there is supply. The news media is doing that. Whatever people demand, if they demand pornography, supply pornography because there is market.
I want to change that rule. I want to reverse it. I want to say “Wherever there is supply, demand is bound to be created.” Don’t go on fulfilling the demand, because the demand is coming from the lowest strata of the society. Supply from the highest intelligentsia of the society, and create the demand. And I know it happens, even against all economic theories.
When there was no car, nobody was demanding for it. The moment car arrived, supplies arrived before; and now millions of people are owning cars. If that can happen in things, why it cannot happen in thoughts?
So my message to the news media is that you are not behaving responsibly. You are not taking care of humanity. You are simply exploiting people by supplying them whatsoever they want. You should be the university, in the real sense, for the people.
Osho, The Last Testament, Vol 4, Ch 26 (excerpt)