Journalism is a sacred job. If education is the backbone of society then true journalism is the body of that society. True journalism is reliable, so is it’s opposite in modern times. But media personals seem to have forgotten all the humanitarian ethical standards of true journalism turning press into the gory gang of cruel faggots. Only photography, crispy debates, character assassinations and news reporting is not journalism, neither is it any handsome profession or trade. It is the pious act of examining and investigating the news a hundred times before making it news brief and morning/evening headline. It seems we don’t perform our work sincerely otherwise authorities would not have booked an owner of Urdu Daily Poonch for publishing malicious new reports regarding corona virus in his daily. However, journalists of day can be seen as hitting sixes at very overpitched delivery thus deriving all the possible benefits like parasites derive from chubby hosts, applying notions of hook and crook. These journalists have blurred the line between truth and lies to an extent that it becomes difficult to differentiate one from the other. In current times media serves as theaters designed for manipulating facts and goods of history. Existing political system, if wealthy enough, hijack the sole figures of media in democratic countries. This makes their job easy and glorifies the party image in vivid quality pixels against innumerable bags of capital. However in countries with dictators in power, media has nothing to say and all their voices sing authorities. In his book “Truth and lies in journalism” Dorota Probucka writes ‘If the mass media gave up on such a mission, that is deny the truth, this will create a cognitive dissonance and moral disintegration, in which people and societies cannot function for a long time.’ This is how actually nations fall and rise in the hands of potent journalists who sketch today’s future as well as sow the seeds for tomorrow. So is said by James Cooker, an American Democrat that ‘press, like fire, is an excellent servant, but a terrible master’. Nevertheless, only things change in democracies not true journalism. True journalism stands aloft in combating the evils of society, class and system. In multicultural societies, journalism has a open eye on offensive and inflammatory sentiments of both minorities and majorities but here we have no glimpse of that. There are many who read nothing but our newspapers. These mainly include shopkeepers, business men and secondary school students. Let avoid polluting their minds which in fact stand nowhere other than the verge of contamination and who never can think above the horizons of your published editorials. Our vexatious attitude is such that we keep them in touch with mass ignorance on the name of promoting awareness and education. Be not propagandists rather remove the junk from heads of people, because you are expected to do so. I am reminded of an anecdote I had been reading lately. In his book “Alias Grace”, Margaret Atwood writes ” The newspaper journalists like to believe the worst; they can sell more papers that way, as one of them told me himself; for even upstanding and respectable people dearly love to read ill of others.” And this is what holds true for current times. Human nature still has no improvement and loves wholeheartedly to read ill of others.
Conclusion of discussion is crystal clear; if you really want change the scenario, then true journalism is the immediate and potent weapon.
Moreover, Journalism in any way should not play with ethnic and religious sentiments of people. Lately, while surfing over Face book pages, my sight cached an eye popping sketch wherein corona virus was sketched in Muslim attire wearing Pathan Coat, the dress generally worn by Muslims of subcontinent. However the newspaper editors removed it immediately once it became cry of minority in just fractions of minutes. Journalism should never be like this, it should be neutral as it is not inherited by any particular religion, community or party, rather it is common platform for all to spread awareness, truth and evergreen teachings of humanity. So should we avoid the subtraction and addition of original facts which is another blameworthy tactic applied to the field by these putative journalists. Mixing of original contents and presenting the news in confusing garments to as to serve the vexed interests of self or of the organizations they work for, should be prohibited and noises should be raised against the same. It is our responsibility to present news as it is without any perversion made in facts. Good journalism is walking on thorny road with no backdoor exit. It is not easy but yes if we guide our footsteps on thorny highways, for sure we can derive satisfaction and peace of mind. Serving people in right way makes you feel proud, provides you with ultimate solace, and makes your work a holy servitude. Our problem is that we measure truth by ratings, more the news gets rating, more we decorate it in garments of exaggeration. Let’s try to make a remarkable change in the ongoing scenario of conflicts, confusions and news manipulations. Examine what you’re doing with eyelets open. Think in broad how the wrong report harms any nation at large. Anyone alone cannot bring the car back to station but together we can. Journalism is holy, it’s ethics are humanitarian and it must be free from the gives of fear, terror and politics. We need to change the very basics of journalism; that is the foremost need of the day as well as our prior responsibility in these times of multimedia and print productions. In the words of Henry Anatole Grunwald ‘Journalism can never be silent: That is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.’ Conclusion of discussion is crystal clear; if you really want change the scenario, then true journalism is the immediate and potent weapon.
(Author is studying mass communication and multimedia productions at the University of Kashmir. Views are his own, email@example.com )