Monday, October 18, 2021
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Proud to be only parallel media

Nowadays, it is very easy to abuse media. Media is also referred with numerous adjectives. Its credibility is declining. I’m not blaming anyone, neither media nor people of this country. The journalist abides accountability before the society in general, before the law and before the professional connotation. The social responsibility of the journalist requires that he acts in accordance with his personal ethical standards. Journalists’ main goal is to guarantee the right of citizen and show truth, important information, which allows them to form adequate impression about social processes, their essence and importance, about the situation in today’s world.

Even the readers, citizen of this country, need to introspect about the double standards that they carry. Everyone wants journalist to be honest and unbiased. The question is that, do we really respect neutral reporters, newspapers and broadcasters? I bared the pain of being an unbiased journalist. We are attacked from all sides. If you will not take one particular stand, no one stands by them. This happens with me; I criticize and praise every political party for their good and bad decisions. Whenever, I write something against Congress, I’m labelled as BJP supporter, if I write something against Modi’s decision then I am branded as Congress paid media or AAP supporter. We don’t really like neutral journalists, because they don’t always write what we expect. They speak their mind as and being unbiased write harsh and their content is not easy to digest. Press freedom is one of the major guarantees of the freedom of speech, an obligatory element for ensuring other civil rights and freedoms. The freedom of the press involves the possibility to freely discuss and criticise the activities of the authorities, civil and private structures. Journalists contribute to the realization of the right to express unpopular opinions or agree with the point of view expressed by the majority. The journalist must defend the freedom of speech; retain independence of his/her political views and convictions. He/she must resist any efforts to misrepresent information or introduce restriction. Like any other citizen, journalists have the rights intervene into political and other convictions. However, in his/her professional activity he/she should remain neutral and objective.

The journalist should do his/her best to acquire information from all possible sources, to make sure it is complete, truthful and unbiased. Information which may upset or embarrass a person should be checked prudently. Respecting the right of society to objective information, the journalist must convey truthful information and a whole spectrum of opinions on certain issues. Today, journalism is in the custody of corporate houses, mafia and politicians. If media goes in vested interest’s hands then you cannot expect hundred per cent truthfulness. Their banner power is much bigger than that of the reporter/anchor or editor. To fight with this evil of fourth estate, we stood alone as self-funded organization. However, people are yet to accept us as we are small media. People don’t want to give priority to small media groups as their reach are limited and such media houses may not help them reach widely.

I am fortunate to have good number of readers, who trust us for our integrity. Unbiased journalism does not mean that the journalists should refrain from expressing their personal opinions. However, the reader should be able to tell the difference between the articles stating facts and materials expressing someone’s opinion or interpretation of events. However, this principle should not limit the journalist in choosing the style of writing. The journalist should not be a presenter for anyone’s interest.

We avoid making mistakes, if at all, then we immediately rectify them. Corrections of significant mistakes should be published without delay in a visible place. Yes, we do commit mistakes and we are not robots. Expression of emotions is expected. To conceal disappointment, anger, or compassion at human suffering would be dishonest. Yet emotions in journalism can be over-used and manipulated. We need freedom to breathe and to do justice with this profession. Unwanted and unexpected moral policing and taunting may discourage us from performing well.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr 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 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. 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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