What is “CURRENT AFFAIRS’?

What is “CURRENT AFFAIRS’?

There will be a subject called ‘Current Affairs’ for the second trimester for UG students, as I understand. For their benefit, I did a small research and wrote this article.

Looking at the McMillan Dictionary we understand that current affairs are the political, social, and economic events that are happening now and are discussed in news programmes and newspapers.

Jagran Josh (2012) states that the two words – Current and Affairs come together to give an interesting name to a subject of study. Current means recent, day to day life and affairs mean events, issues etc. Therefore current affairs are the day to day incidents and events around us.

There are innumerable happenings around us in present. They may be from different spheres like economic, political, cultural, educational, social, and environmental. A Government may go for its parliamentary election.  A Tsunami might have hit the coastal area of a country. There must have been an angry protest by a section of a nation. An important day like ‘Human Rights Day’ might be observed globally. All of them would be called current affairs.

Let us observe what Wikipedia states about current affairs. It says that, “Current Affairs is a genre of broadcast journalism where the emphasis is on detailed analysis and discussion of news stories that have recently occurred or are ongoing at the time of broadcast. This differs from regular news broadcasts that emphasizes on news reports presented for simple presentation as soon as possible, often with a minimum of analysis. It is also different from the news magazine show format in that the events are discussed immediately.”

People consider current affairs as very important as it feeds them with vital information for day to day communication. Helen Boaden, Director, BBC News, said: “These are exciting plans which aim to fulfil the commitment that the BBC has made to increase the prominence and appeal of current affairs programming in peak time on BBC ONE. From our audience research, we know that people consider current affairs programming to be very important to them as citizens and we are fully committed to delivering the BBC’s hallmark of trustworthy and rigorous investigative journalism that is relevant to people’s lives.”

Current affairs are the happenings of people’s lives. That’s why they become important for people. The media exploits this necessity and make the current affairs as ‘news’. We need to understand the difference between current affairs and news in detail. Current affairs are the happenings around us at present. News is what is reported. The news reported may be from the present happenings or the past ones. All current affairs might not be reported as news. All news need not be current affairs

Jagran Josh clearly states that  ‘technically Current Affairs is defined as a genre of broadcast journalism where the emphasis is on detailed analysis and discussion of news stories that have recently occurred or are ongoing at the time of broadcast. This differs from regular news broadcasts where the emphasis is on news reports prepared for simple presentation as soon as possible, often with a minimum of analysis. It is also different from the news magazine show format in that the events are discussed immediately.

According to the UK’s Office of Communications Current Affairs is an explanation and analysis of current events and issues, including political or industrial controversy or public policy issues. The office distinguishes Current Affairs from the coverage of news, coverage of special events like parliamentary proceedings, and the coverage of consumer affairs, among other exceptions.

The incidents and events that occur in an individual’s immediate environment are of concern and interest as they are so strongly related to one’s cognitive-emotional structure. Current affairs revolve around happenings in different field related to national, international, economy, sports, science and technology, environment. Reach of Current affairs is wider and deep affecting all and sundry. Current Affairs enclose within its fold incidents occurring in different categories as well as related developments.

For example national events include within its fold aspects like economy, social, political, sports, science, environment, etc. The events can be of national importance, or be relevant at the state, district level. Likewise if we talk about International Current its range could be related to the various aspects of politics, economy, science and environment, and reach could be spread across continents like-America, Latin America, European, southern Asia, East Asia, Central Asia, Africa, gulf countries etc. Looking at this vastness in reach and range of current affairs it can be suggested that one should demarcate the limits of current affairs on the basis of individual needs and objectives.

The difference between News and Current affairs may be a little tricky. If care is not taken, one might think that they both mean the same thing. Really News can be described as “Information about recent and important events”, It could be an “Information reported in a newspaper or news magazine”, or “A program devoted to current events, often using interviews and commentary”. It could also be”Informal information of any kind that is not previously known to someone”. WordWeb (2010)

Current affairs refer to any event that just occurred, this means the affairs that are associated with the present. News is different from Current affairs because not all current affairs make it to the news. For a current event to become News, someone or a reporter must have taken interest in the spread of such event. If not a current event may occur without ever getting into the news until later in the future.

In the same way, not all news items are current events. A person may be interested in an old story. Digging up age long information about remarkable stories becomes news. So an event need not be a current event before it becomes news.

To conclude, I might state that one needs to understand current affairs to change it for better in the future.


References:

  1. Current Affairs.  In Wikipedia, Retrieved December 24,2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_affairs_(news_format)

2.      BBC,(2012) BBC announces plans to increase prominence and appeal of current affairs programming on BBC ONE [Press Release]. Retrieved December 24, 2012 from  http://www.bbc.co.uk/ pressoffice/ pressreleases/ stories/2005/02_february/15/current.shtml

3.      Jagran Josh (2012), What is Current Affairs?, Retrieved December 24, 2012 from http://www.jagranjosh.com/articles/what-is-current-affairs-1297250109-1

4.      Current affairs. (2012). In Macmillan Dictionary. Retrieved December 24, 2012 from http://www.ehow.com/how_6784331_cite-online-dictionary-apa-format.html

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