Journalism and Journalists

The phenomenon of fake news–or for that matter paid news–is global. The advent of electronic media has aggravated the problem. To blame it on journalists for all the evils under the sun is meaningless. What matters is how the media house owners decide to run their papers or channels. The unholy nexus between a section of media and politicians is well-known. How they create image of some politicians during elections and try to influence public opinion is an open secret now. It happens in the advanced democracy and it happens in backward democracy like India. The people are left with no option but to read between the lines to get truth. The Indian Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc’s media sub-group has decided not to participate in the news shows of 14 specific news anchors of as many prominent TV channels. This decision was announced following the first meeting of the INDIA bloc’s co-ordination committee. The reason is simple: they present biased news to sell Modi brand in every possible way. The disease is deep-rooted and it cannot be eradicated by boycotting them. After all money talks and talks loudly while reality is being suppressed deliberately.

 No doubt, in today’s rapidly evolving media landscape, the state of journalism has become a topic of concern. Many lament the perceived decline in journalistic quality, credibility, and integrity. While journalists undoubtedly play a critical role in upholding the principles of journalism, it is crucial to recognise that the responsibility for the state of journalism does not rest solely on their shoulders. The public, as consumers and participants in the media ecosystem, also bears a significant responsibility in shaping the future of journalism.

Journalists have traditionally been the gatekeepers of information, tasked with investigating, reporting, and presenting news to the public. They carry the responsibility of seeking truth, ensuring accuracy, and upholding ethical standards. Journalists are the custodians of democracy, holding those in power accountable and shedding light on issues that impact society. However, it is undeniable that there have been numerous instances where journalists have fallen short of these ideals, succumbing to pressures, biases, or compromised integrity. These cases have undoubtedly contributed to the erosion of public trust in journalism. Nonetheless, it is important to recognise that the actions of a few should not overshadow the dedication and professionalism displayed by many journalists who continue to strive for excellence.

The public, as consumers of news, holds immense power in shaping the media scenario. In the era of social media and citizen journalism, individuals have become active participants in news dissemination and consumption. However, with this newfound power comes a responsibility to engage critically with the information presented. While it is true that misinformation and sensationalism can be perpetuated by some media outlets, it is essential for the public to exercise discernment and seek out reliable sources. By supporting credible journalism, subscribing to reputable news outlets, and sharing accurate information, the public can contribute to a healthier media environment.

Financial sustainability is another vital aspect of journalism. As the media world undergoes significant transformations, traditional revenue models have been disrupted. Advertising revenues have dwindled, leading to budget cuts, layoffs, and potential compromises in journalistic quality. To counteract this, the public can actively support quality journalism by subscribing to reputable news outlets, paying for digital content, or donating to nonprofit news organisations. By doing so, individuals contribute to the financial viability of journalism, ensuring that journalists have the resources and freedom to produce high-quality, independent reporting.

The decline of journalism cannot be solely attributed to journalists. Only through collective efforts can people navigate the challenges and build a future where journalism thrives as a pillar of democracy and an essential force for positive change.


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Vol 56, No. 14, Oct 1 - 7, 2023