What Journalism should be about?

Some media houses are of the opinion that if they do good journalism that will have financial, political and social repercussions on them, on the contrary, a leading journalist, Christiane Amanpour, believes that good journalism, good television, ‘can make our world a better place,’ by simply following ABC’s of journalism.

Media tells news stories to its readers (in the case of print media) or viewers (in the case of electronic media) but there are always two sides to it. And if they are able to present both sides, they have done justice to it, otherwise these are not balanced news stories, and there are different names that come-up with that kind of news stories; some call is plainly as ‘biased’ news story, while as others call it one-sided report, and if media houses just exaggerate the story, then other names follow like yellow journalism etc.

If it is not possible to get all the facts related to a particular news story, but at least media houses should try to gather and present the maximum facts to their readers/viewers, so that there’s room for readers to think rationally and make up their opinion, not what media houses wants them to think about that particular story. Misrepresenting the stories is doing injustice to the characters and subjects involved in the news. When people don’t know the complete story, it develops an opinion among the people that is based on half truth, and that leads to the biased views towards certain news elements involved in that particular story.

If such things happen, which does happen; that means not the both sides of the particular news story are being present to the readers/viewers. When such things happen, media analysts refer this as “one-sided version” by such media houses of a society in this day and age. Those who expose the hypocrisy of such sections of media in this world, and their so called sermons over freedom of speech need appreciation and support from their respective societies. For example, not every news media in the world act partially, in-fact, they acted as responsible media players in the world of journalism. And yes, some sections of the so called free media including corporate media claim to be the champions of “freedom of expression” and “free journalism”, yet they show one-sided news to their readers/viewers. You can’t be selective while talking about freedom of expression, is it freedom when it suits you? And when it hurts you, you freedom vanishes in the air! To be honest, those claims are BIG JOKES of this century! As Dan Rather says “ratings don’t last. Good Journalism does”.

Big media houses like Al-Jazeera, CNN, Times Of India talk loudly about the impartiality and fairness in their news coverage across their respective domains but if you look at Al-Jazeera, they want to talk about everything and every news but Qatar; how much did they report about the abuse of workers especially workers from South Asia in Qatar? Let the viewers of Al-Jazeera be the judges. Same way, media house CNN wants to talk about everything but USA, how many times they covered the wrong policies and decisions of US foreign affairs that killed thousands and made hundred thousands injured in recent history? Let the viewers of CNN be the judges. Same way if you talk about, Times of India wants to talk about everything but India, how many times they reported the atrocities and wrong treatment of people of Kashmir by India state? Let the readers of Times of India be the judges.

Sometimes one gets very disappointed about certain news items in the media sections. The reason of their disappointment is the unprofessional and yellow journalism on part of media houses by randomly publishing news without any research and not even following the ABC standard of journalism that taught us how journalism should include Accuracy, Brevity, and Clarity.

A suggestion for them, not to agree with someone’s disappointment but do some research before you publish any news about any news byte. It is highly recommended to the editors and producers to revisit the facts in order to counter check the facts. Good journalism can help in mobilizing the masses not by force but by a message, and that will be to stand with justice and oppose falsehood. Hope sane minds will take the lead and will show some professional journalism and take into consideration the ABC of journalism (Accuracy Brevity and Clarity) and won’t publish such news reports which are not based on research or facts.

No doubt, any attack on freedom of expression, is a condemnable act, reprehensible act, vicious act, and deplorable act, and it invokes the debate about freedom of speech and tolerance, but at the same time the yardsticks for media organisations should not change with respect to different news stories, that’s purely, DOUBLE STANDARD!

Today, the love and faith binds every human together to act patiently but don’t take advantage of that tolerance, by doing so, media houses are just exposing themselves. Let me conclude with the words of whistle blower, Julian Assange, who is currently living in exile in an embassy compound in United Kingdom that it is the role of good journalism to take on powerful abusers, and when powerful abusers are taken on, there’s always a bad reaction. So we see that controversy, and we believe that is a good thing to engage in.



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