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‘Unbiased’ Journalism can’t expire

August 8 is here and Afternoon Voice completes its 11 years. This was a very long period of struggle to keep this paper and media house alive. My team is always limited; if one comes in, we train them in every aspect of media and once they learn and leave, we again hire and train newcomers until they learn and decide to leave for better prospects. I am very proud to say that we have mentored many journalists and copy editors those are today in every segment of the mainstream media. Be it NDTV, or be it TOI or Republic TV.

All my team members have excelled in all the spheres of media. This is the only media house that never worked on barriers. From college dropouts to strugglers and degree-holders, everyone was given the equal opportunity to explore, empower, and learn. Today, when I look back at the 11 long years of the journey, I see hundreds of Youngsters getting trained here and resuming in big media houses. I see this as a fulfillment.

The story of Afternoon Voice started with a rebel who was challenged in Afternoon Despatch and Courier to get another job in the media industry if she leaves the publication on her own will. Today, that newspaper is dispatched to an unknown address; it succumbed to the circumstances and shut down. Now, I can say, there is only one Afternoon in the market and that is We the ‘Afternoon Voice”.

We are a very small group but our mission is big. We want to fight the odds and the evils in the fourth estate and strengthen the democracy. We don’t follow any ideology or political party and we just follow the Correct News. Most of the time, many do not like us because we attack the wrong and appreciate the right of everyone in the power corridors while making them accountable with constructive criticism.

These days media is abused, they are alleged with numerous adjectives. Their credibility has declined. I don’t blame anyone for this, neither the media nor the people of this country. The journalists abide by the accountability before the society in general, before the law, and before the professional connotation.

Even the readers and the citizens of this country need to introspect about the double standards that they carry. Everyone wants a journalist to be honest and unbiased. The question is that, do we really respect the neutral reporters, newspapers, and broadcasters? Ask me what the pain of being Impartial is. They are attacked from all the sides and on the other hand, for not taking one particular stand, no one stands by them. This happens to me. I criticise and praise every political party. Whenever I write something against Congress, I am labeled as a BJP supporter and if I write against Prime Minister Modi, I am branded as the Congress paid media or an AAP supporter. People want clean journalism but they don’t really like neutral journalists because they are not always what they expect to be. They speak their mind being unbiased but that is harsh and not easy to digest.

Today journalism is in the custody of corporate houses, mafia, and politicians. If the media goes in wasted people’s hand, you cannot expect a hundred per cent truthfulness. Their banner power is bigger than the Reporter, Anchor, or the Editor. People don’t want to give priority to the small media groups as their reach is limited.

We avoid making mistakes if at all, we immediately correct them. We are not robots. Expression of emotions is expected. This journey was not easy.

Starting from year one, one of the first problems which we faced was finances. The lack of finances where one lady had to toss the gambling coin in the air with a possibility of either getting it or losing it all and guess what, we had the ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ soon followed.

It was totally a game of guts that we did. A wise once said that if you speak a lie, you need to remember it and be smarter but if you speak the truth, you just have to remember the event and the God stands right next to you for the rest.

I convey my high regards to all my readers who have kept Afternoon Voice strong and high respect to the people who have taken the time out and contributed in our journey, and thanks is a small word for them. We stand up with the pride of being what we are today and will continue carrying on with it. Any hurdles may come but we are committed to being…UNSTOPPABLE!

We have grown year by year. Every time with new challenges and new experiments, we have come here and going ahead is another goal.

My readers played a very crucial role by making this drive fruitful.

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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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