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Sonali Bendre: Sensationalism is part of society, not just confined to news

Actress Sonali Bendre recently returned to the world of audio-visual content with her newly-released series ‘The Broken News’ where she plays a righteous editor of a news channel. While it’s a comeback vehicle for her after a period of struggle in terms of health, the series also marked her digital debut.

In a conversation with IANS, the actress spoke about her experience of coming back in front of camera, how sensationalism isn’t confined to news in the current age, her access point for consumption of information and her detoxification process from all information junk.

While TV anchors may rupture the eardrums by screaming at the top of their lungs, or flashy graphics may blind the viewer with horrendously loud colours, it’s not just the news where sensationalism finds its place.

As Sonali says, “Sensationalism is a part of society, it’s not just the news. Everything out there has a bit of sensationalism. There are so many voices that we end up noticing only the louder ones.”

Sadly there’s not much one can do on an individual level in her opinion, “Hence, the voices just want to be louder and louder. We as a society collectively get drawn towards louder voices and that’s something really unfortunate and not in our control, honestly.”

But then how does she detoxify herself from the overwhelming flow of information that tends to turn toxic? The answer is simple, Sonali dissociates and switches off, “My way of detoxifying is to shut down completely. During my illness when I did not want to be agitated because the balance was so fragile that anything that could trigger sadness or darkness, I switched it off and focused on things that truly made a difference.”

The series marks her digital debut but for the actress the experience of working on a new medium wasn’t very different from that of films, as she shares, “For me, shooting for ‘The Broken News’ was like shooting for a longer film. In terms of working on the digital medium it didn’t make any difference as such.”

However, the changing times manifested in more ways than one. The actress explains, “Having said that, the times have definitely changed, the way of working on the sets, the technology, the rhythm of storytelling and the acting has also changed considerably.”

For someone like her, who is a voracious reader, the prime source of news consumption remains the written material either on paper or on digital.

“I am more of a reader so for me a large part of news consumption happens while I read something, opinion pieces or news articles from different backgrounds”, the actress signs off.

‘The Broken News’ is adapted from the popular British series ‘Press’, and it presents a tale of the clash of these two disparate worlds, conflicting ideologies and their incompatible ethics.

The show, produced by BBC Studios India and directed by Vinay Waikul, also stars ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ and ‘Paatal Lok’ star Jaideep Ahlawat and ‘Mirzapur’ actress Shriya Pilgaonkar.

It is currently available to stream on ZEE5.

–By Akshay Acharya

Pic. Sourceiamsonalibendre

Shehnaaz Gill

Himanshi Khurana

Kajal Aggarwal

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