Media is in turmoil

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You tube video exposing Arvind Kejriwal and Punya Prasun Bajpai’s conversation, gathered lots of attention and hits. Since inception of AAP, many journalists have shown a soft corner for the  party, as Kejriwal is being created by the media. Even, many journalists joined his party to fulfill their political aspirations. The so called ‘exposed’ was no surprise to me at all. Arvind Kejriwal  always remains in the headlines. His social network team keeps him and his party AAP both in news. Let’s talk about the interview, and ‘exposed’.

Prasun says, “Fine, let’s drop this topic. And let’s talk about the 80 per cent of the population, where the ‘vote bank’ lies.”

Kejriwal replies, “Absolutely. I had forgotten to talk about that!” And this is exactly the order of the final version of the interview.

Generally, this happens in everyone’s case. After the interview the panelists and anchor generally sit over the discussions, not necessarily with any agenda. If interviews could be managed or it is possible to go against channel’s policy or anchor’s ethics, many such top politicians who got embarrassed time and again would have managed the show in their favour.

Look at the video again. Kejriwal is narrating roughly to Prasun that he is not happy conversing about privatisation as it would create disillusion among the middle class; and of course middle class is his vote bank. When Kejriwal was telling Prasun that he doesn’t want to argue an issue which may upset his electoral politics, should the broadcaster change the topic of debate? I couldn’t see any fixing or planning in this interview.

A sting video, featuring Arvind Kejriwal and TV anchor Punya Prasun Bajpai, is doing rounds on You Tube. In the video, Arvind Kejriwal and Punya Prasun Bajpai are shown discussing the content of the interview in an off-the record talk. The video shows how AAP leader is expressing to senior journalist about his discomforts, Prasun was reciprocating to the same. Whatever Kejriwal said should be telecast on air then what is fixed or pre planned about it? The video starts with Kejriwal and Bajpai discussing the questions and content of the interview with a transcript of their discussion. Anyways, Modi ‘bhaktas’ on social media already declared Punya Prasun Bajpai as the media advisor for Kejriwal and he is deciding the content and topic of interviews before the Lok Sabha elections. They even attacked Anjana Om Kashyap. Attack on media or journalist in particular is not new. Barkha Dutt, Sagarika Ghose, Nikhil Waghle all were on radar of BJP supporters, after Godhra riots. These journalists were called as paid coolies of Congress. Time and again media has been accused for many things. Now, the BJP and Congress supporters shifted their focus to Kejriwal as he is the biggest threat to both parties. His growing popularity has made these national parties restless.

Today, social media is another big threat. It can build image instantly as well as do character assassination also in one day. Just one has to spread the word in a particular group, then that goes viral. I won’t be surprised, if after watching this particular clip, Election Commission’s ire on AAP increases and alleges them of violating ‘model code of conduct’ and managing media.

This is not the first time media has come into limelight for controversy. There are many such news agencies, social media, news channels and newspapers which take undue liberty to gain attention. Social Media at times violate policies. There was an IT Act currently administered by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Media ethics (and ethics in general) is, and always has been, a matter of constantly inventing and altering norms to meet ever-new social and technological conditions. Contestation and change are natural to ethics, not regrettable aberrations. In the long run, this is a good thing. Today’s alternate interpretations of journalism are a rich resource for constructing a more adequate ethics for interactive and global media. But, journalism has reached across borders and social media even beyond that.

The role of the journalist needs a global amplification. People trust what media shows, and social media breaks that faith and inculcate their own narration. Here media needs to be more subtle and responsible. There should be some morals on how to use new media: Future media integrities will say useful things on the responsible use of new media and how to deal with unified newsrooms. Today’s journalists need more study and patience while handling delicate issues. But individual journalist needs more detailed guidance in making ethical decisions.

Liable media experts remain committed to general principles, such as seeking the truth and reporting independently. However beyond this general level, the media revolution has undermined a previous professional consent on the best forms of practice, and the norms that guide them. Our media uprising creates multiple and contradictory clarifications of journalism. Turning small issues into a disaster and serious issues to go unnoticeable is today latest fashion in social media. We need to be more matured and disciplined. People trust us and taking them for a ride with all misleading stories will not create any revolution. Over drama will not resolve the social status.

The narration between Punya Prasun and Kejriwal is completely misinterpreted. Anyways, the big question remains here is, how that video footage leaked from Aaj Tak office and who is playing spoilsport for media house for some gains? What is the intention behind leaking this video? Whoever leaked the video but Punya Prasun is paying for that, where his intention was not that what video is showing.

Vaidehi

Group Editor at NBC Pvt. Ltd.
Vaidehi, is an investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical hacker, Philanthropist, Author and an inspiration to many. She is Group Editor of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 4 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi daily tabloid – Mee Mumbaikar, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges, dedicated to IT industry, Indian news to the world and shipping industry, respectively. Besides the business perspective, she is an Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.