I write this post in at most disgust, which was building up inside me , ever since the day I choose a profession in Journalism. 5 years ago, successfully enrolled into my graduation program, the ambitions in the field was towering. But today, in midst of chaotic surroundings of war, failing democracy, social unrest, religious fanaticism, I believe the ethical role of being a journalist had fallen deeper into nadir. What ultimately is the role of journalist?, is it skipping through the disheartening and disillusion news stories that pop up in the screens in a regular basis and be such a journalist who scavenges and bring forth stories. Or is it about being a sponsored writer, one who is very well versed in the art of biased writing in such a manner that an average reader could liken individual journalist to a particular political or bureaucratic institution. Thus here the journalist attains the role of a modern day hybrid child of propaganda and a lobby-ism.
Being a journalist in 21st century it is true that compromise is something we should learn to adapt rather than going out on a rebellious run. Often following the tight schedule, we have to come up with stories, which should feeds on the interests of the editor and those at the top of the news organisation. It is also a regular habit of feeding the public with news that is of immediate effects and often following an agenda towards public that,” World has all gone wrong and here is what you need to know to survive” more than bringing forth the true nature of world. Thus heightened interest in controversy, crime and limitless entertainment, result in the multimedia users, losing the sense of realities of life. Today journalists barely scratch on the surface of reality and rather choose an altered consumer oriented fantasy. For example, news of a tragedy would be a big news for the readers in 1950’s compared to contemporary readers who are exposed to wide array of calamities, accidents, disasters and so on from across the world. Today numbers define our reality, often if two people died, it is a general occurrence and people neglect citing another incident which killed 100 people thus dismissing the news entirely. So, with abundant news,thanks to news agencies we are fed with all kinds of unwanted news ,thus forcing many of true news savvy to search for news that matters the most. It is not kind to say abundant news and its availability is a sin, but one could say a news organisation does something sinful, unethical if they choose to willfully conceal or redact a news from the public. It is very sad to say this since we all have grown into a world of educated citizenry and reasonable thinking. Sponsored and paid writers, yellow journalism, fake news, entertainment tabloids and so on have taken place of traditional journalism making us more of a joker than what we were supposed to behold. The credibility crisis has already done the damage enough to tarnish the image of journalist and thus redefining the meaning of being a journalist.
‘The fourth pillar of Indian Constitution’, the Indian Media in general has been in hostile grounds for sometime, ever since the infamous sting operations of the magazine Tehelka, ‘ the operation west end’ which brought scuffle in Indian politics, something I felt, which brought a new dawn in Indian Journalism. It is true that process they undertook clandestinely would be questionable in an ethical sense. But it revealed another sensibility that Indian Media is either ignorant or blatantly ignores what people in power does. Series of other investigative stories which were brought out, following the similar path by many news outlets were intended to save the face of many established media giants. But on the same time Journalism flourished in every medium, the unhealthy practice of biased writing had grown beyond the boundaries and established itself as a practice in contemporary news. It is plainly visible today how online fake news, paid writing brought Trump to power and favored many others in all around the world. It is highly debatable but in overview of the 2014 election victories of Modi, one could easily notice how Modi’s image was portrayed in media through paid writings, interviews and online news portals. Here media is busy serving the Bose, they have failed in bravely sticking with the news that need immediate attention, thus people are driven off many useful and informative things. As of 2018, I have no regret saying that nothing had changed or gotten better and all I could see is we all are turning out being better at being good servants.
We were supposed to be Knight Templar of Journalism, obliged to efficient delivery and protect news that matters than the contemporary Jokers of modern Journalism.