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Govt should be open enough for constructive criticism by media

Once journalism was much respected profession, the journalists and editors used to turn the tables and decide the fate of politicians and political parties, they were the key players in making and breaking the government. They were believed and trusted by readers. They were held with high regards by all the sectors. They were the strongest holders of democracy. All this used to happen on one cup of tea, one paper and pen. That was old school of journalism. The modern era has lost the sheen; the definition of journalism has become commercial. Larger the banner, greater the hypocrisy, they follow no ethics. There is hunger for TRP and perks. Journalism has become a game of survival, a glorified commercial approach where everything is for sale including the editorials. Here commercials are more important than the content and credibility. The responsible behaviours of media have gone missing. Hardly there are some who are trying to maintain it with great struggle. Being responsible not only means telling the truth, but also abiding by the law and being honest in the way a journalist gathers information.

If the press drifts into law-breaking, then it loses the respect of its readers and the nation. These days’ media is making stories on celebrity tweets and Instagram posts, journalists accessing the mobile phones and voicemails of people, including well-known politicians, actors and sportsmen as well as the family of soldiers killed on border. The disgust that followed led to the closure of many media houses in the country. Many journalists had to lose their jobs and got in self-broadcasting on social media. Those in the public eye should not fear or be defensive about the press. If a politician dislikes criticism from the press, then he is definitely in the wrong job. At the same time, media too should not follow particular ideology and attack the opposite side. They should always remain neutral and do their duty. Before journalists can write about a subject, they must first gather information.

They usually conduct several interviews with people involved in or having knowledge of the subject. They may also go to the scene of an event, such as a crime or an accident, to interview witnesses or law enforcement officers and to document what they see. In addition, they often search public records or other databases to find information and statistics to back up their stories. Researching a story is often similar to conducting an investigation, and journalists must sometimes ask difficult questions. They may have to invest a lot of time tracking down information and people relevant to the story. How good a journalist’s story is often depends on how adept he is at communicating and working with others. They also need strong people and communication skills, so they can persuade sources to talk to them. Journalists frequently approach people they don’t know, whether when reporting from the scene or calling to request an interview. In addition to serving the public interest, journalists must also follow the law, especially regarding the confidentiality and privacy of the people they interview or write about. For example, while journalists often tape record their interviews to ensure accuracy, federal and state laws generally make it illegal to record a conversation without the permission of the other party. In this case, journalists must tell their sources they’re recording the interview before it begins. Journalists must also understand the laws regarding libel and invasion of privacy.

Anyway, let us conclude saying that the profession needs lot of changes and government needs different approach while looking at media. When it comes to awards and rewards, they should consider even critics and their search should not be limited, many deserving journalists go unnoticed because they don’t sit or mingle in power corridors.

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on Parallel Media, Support Journalism, Free Press, Afternoon Voice

Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 14 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazine Beyond The News (international). She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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