Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Pioneer- Dilli Billi-16th Dec 2012- “Media needs to put checks on itself”

Media needs to put checks on itself

Journalists should stop sensationalizing news. It needs to rethink its strategy and apply the unwritten code of ethics

The whole nation watched with interest the war between two big industry giants. One is Member of Parliament and chairperson of the Jindal industrial empire Naveen jindal. He has money, influence and power. The other is Subhash Chandra, a media king. He belongs to the industry that is powerful and feared. Therefore, it is natural that the extortion case against the two reporters of Zee TV is being talked about in Hushed tones. No one can dare to publicly take sides as both are extremely powerful.

The aam aadmi has praised the role of media in bringing to public knowledge issues of corruption, violence and crime by the people in power and positions of influence. The media has played a major role in educating the ordinary man, the value of his vote and showing the real face of the leaders. The media has made many heroes, who it picked up from the streets and many heroes lost their place. The law and order situation has improved because of media intervention. Many criminal cases have reached the right end only because the media took the cause.

Journalists became kings and the public looked at them as their heroes. Many big names lost their seat of power due to the media. But this meant that the media was becoming aggressive and arrogant. The news started to be sensationalized. The channels created news where there was none to increase their TRPs. Many a reputations were ruined due to wrong reporting or because not much effort was put in while chasing a story.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. A few people in the media felt that since they were lords, nobody would dare to point a finger at them. Unlike the modern-day journalists, the old-timers still have ethics in place. They know the parameters and work within that with respect. People, who toyed with the media, didn’t realise that they were playing with fire. Today, the media with its newbie reporters are in taken by the glamour and power. They have lost their ethical code of journalism.

It is sad to see fresh-out of college graduates make a fool of themselves on new channels. I have seen a young anchor insensitively ask a mother who had just lost her child, as to how she was feeling. Is that a question to ask? There is no depth in there journalists and the questions they ask appear to be meaningless.

Journalism today has lost its sheen. No one knows the true picture anymore. Media houses have become centers of making money. The reputation media had is lost forever. Media houses don’t have many friends. Wherever they go, they are looked at with suspicion. People are always on their guard while talking to a media person. They fear that their statement may be used in some context and be distorted. The fight between a business house and a media house has brought to the light a whole new game that is being played out.

We all know that media carriers paid news and planted new which is bad enough. Now, the public has to contend with news being aired on the amount of money that has been paid.

But there is always a silver lining to everything. This whole episode has united the politicians and businessmen alike. The media really needs to rethink on its strategy and apply the unwritten ethical code. Otherwise, the common man would soon start treating them with contempt.

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