“Hate, venom is what it comes to my mind when I think about the people who ought to be fourth pillar of democracy. Journalism & journalists have lost their morality, not all but many.
There were days of “Himmat, Janta Frontier, Swarajya, Sadhana” who were also throttled during 1975 emergency but who never bowed down to the whims and wish of mighty and powerful. A few of them chose the bars rather than allowing themselves to be cowed down. This is the glorious past of Indian journalism.
However, these days relying on news for its authenticity is really a tough job. In an era of yellow journalism there are very few news organisations left who are true to the masses or rather I can say there exist none because now a days only TRP and GRP matters. Some media houses have got leaning towards left and some towards right because they know that there are people with different mindsets who can garner them their much-needed GRP & TRP which ultimately can be used to fill their coffers. People who speak truth either get decimated or get lost in oblivion because their statement or fearlessness do harm the interest of mighty and powerful.
Not so long ago a case was reported about a very renowned journalist “Gauri Lankesh” who was shot dead due to her fearless write-ups against the ruling government. This incident raised a lot of questions over Article 19(1)(a) of Indian Constitution which says that all citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression. Every now and then we come across reports of people being killed or threatened for sharing their opinion and views on national level platforms. On top of that we have seen how different news channels portray the same news in different angles which make it difficult for the masses to believe which aspect of the news is true.
In 21st century the yellow journalism is rising alarmingly and has reached every corner of the country. The hard reality of today’s mainstream media is that whichever channel tries to cover the reality behind the incident from ground zero is either accused of being anti-nationalist or warned for cancellation of licence. There used to be a time when journalism was a profession which came with tremendous responsibilities of informing and persuading people. From gathering raw news until making them into a fully-fledged story was an excruciating process. However, tables have turned now and mainstream media owners along with few celebrity journalists are enjoying the benefits and advantages given by the people in power and in return the channels show the news according to their liking.
According to reports renowned journalist, author and the managing editor Ravish Kumar who is a prominent face of a well know news channel has been receiving death threats for the work which he has been doing for a decade now. Ravish Kumar has been twice conferred with the Best Journalist of the Year Award in the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award and has also received the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award. Despite his achievements the journalist continues to live a life full of risk. In a conversation with the newspaper “The Hindu” he said, “A man who claims himself from the Bajrang Dal in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh has been sending him exact details of his residence address and the route he takes from home to office, threatening to kill him and rape the women in his family.” Such experiences have become common with journalists and news channels who dare to go against the people in power. Due to these occurrences people’s faith over mainstream media is reducing day by day.
This era belongs to those 5% of the people who have power in their hands, belong to an upper section of the society and have the privilege to raise their voices and in return whose voices are heard.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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