‘Journalism’ indeed is a vast field which gained popularity in early 90’s when the world was dealing with the darkness of uncivilization and nescience. But as it is said, we should have a bird’s eye view of every situation from the very beginning so as to prevent its false consequences. Journalism absolutely requires strict watchdog to stop manipulation by itself.
Exploitation by Social Media :-
We spend a quality time surfing on the Internet sites viz., Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter etc., particularly to get us aware of worldly matters. But Alas! Half of what we see has hardly ever occurred. Social Media is dominating every nation but its contents are mere truths. These social media apps are promoted just to increase the viewers and get as many likes as we could. For example, in recent times, the world is suffering from Corona Virus Pandemic but every other day we come across some rumours which not only increases terror but also misleads the people. Few months ago, some said, Doomsday is near, others said, moon has turned upside down and many more. As a result of this, the owner of WhatsApp had to take strict measure regarding the issue. Such steps are indeed necessary especially when we are approaching towards superstition. As a responsible citizen it is our duty to investigate the matter before posting any content on social networking sites.
When talking about twitter, we generally see some sort of facts as it is used as a healthy mean of communication rather than posting unnecessary stuffs. We should encourage such sites to stop the world from getting manipulated.
Broadcasting Media Manipulation :-
Broadcasting Media is a form of journalism in which the news is delivered using TVs and Radios. This is one of the largest source of spreading information regarding economic, social and political affairs. TVs and Radios are present in almost every house on this globe. But again the major problem that comes before us is the extent of truthfulness of the news. We easily believe what we are shown. There are approximately hundred different channels available to us today, each having their own stories. Everybody wants to gain the highest TRP rating and become the most watched channel. Today the focus is merely concentrated on this aspect. The need to aware the world through important affairs is totally neglected. But to say, sadly, our youngsters only want to hear ‘Masalas’ in every news and so does the anchors want to show, in fact, they are also the same people. It seems like every channel is hired by different economically stable politicians. Not too sure, but the contents reflect it strongly.
In recent times, the news channels are flooded with the applause of our current government in power, the BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party) lead by our current Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Damodar Das Modi. Our economy is going down day-by-day, but on switching to news channels, we see that Mr. Modi has promised one lakh employment opportunity for the youth in his election manifesto. What an irony! Our news channels play very important role in encouraging these fake promises and these cheer the hearts of his blind followers who are unaware of the exact situation of the country.
In the preamble of our constitution, India is a secular country, but it is only restricted on the plains of paper, in reality we only fight among each other, all thanks to our anchors who only recite Hindu-Muslim like beads on the string. To my knowledge, I want to talk about one of the most trending news from Bollywood circulating these days, the Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case. Ah! Its just what we see everywhere, on social media as well as on broadcasting media. No one knows why the guy committed suicide still news channels bring new gossip about it everyday. Many Actors and actresses are blamed for this incident and their fans are busy trolling and reacting to them. In between thousands of farmers has committed suicide due to almost negligible production of crops and millions of poor, low wage workers died of poverty due to Lockdown imposed in the country, no anchor is that free to telecast this on news channels and deliver justice to their family.
Need of Watchdog Journalism:-
We all must have heard about the phrase “Diamond cuts Diamond” in the same way a strict watchdog journalism is strongly recommended to stop the exploitation by journalism. Let us familiarise ourselves with the term, it is a form of investigative journalism where journalists, authors or publishers of a news publication fact-check an interview political and public figures to increase accountability. Watchdog journalism usually takes on a form of beat reporting about specific aspects and issues.
A strict watchdog journalism is very important as it reveal the wrongdoings of the journalists. They investigate every matter selflessly without any fear of the ruling government. They are in some sense ‘liberal’ to unveil the ‘villains’ of the society. Our country is somewhat lacking this kind of journalism which is leading it towards retrogression. The possible reason is that the journalists are not free to deliver the truths to public. Currently, India is at 138th place in the World Press Freedom Index as four journalists were murdered in less than six months amidst a sharp rise in hate speech. We ourselves have become our enemy, sad but true. These kind of deeds forces people to drift towards wrong and journalists fear to reveal them openly.
Amidst these, many programmes are telecasted on television such as “Daily News Analysis” on “Zee News”, “Viral Test” on “Aaj Tak” and “Viral Sach” on “ABP News”. These programmes to some extent uncover the blurred truths of the society but are not enough. We need to encourage such programmes and strengthen and support watchdog journalism to spring out the society from corruption and other kind of evils.
Save Watchdog Journalism:-
Today’s journalism is manipulating the people for their selfishness. Few of them dare to come up, risking their lives. Instead of killing and criticising them for their job, its our social responsibility to assure safety to them. They become the voice of common people and deliver their daily difficulties to the government. They roam place to pace such as slums, colonies, villages, and interrogate about the issues which are important but are neglected.
We should demand justice for them at least for our sake. Watchdog journalism is the only medium if we want to recover from illiteracy and ignorance. It makes the affairs of powerful institutions more transparent to the public.
Not only journalists, it is the duty of the government too to safeguard their existence by taking suitable measures:
1.) Government should provide them with security as it does for their men.
2.) Government should organize seminars periodically and make people aware about the benefits of watchdog journalism.
3.) They should be given high salary so that more and more youths are inspired to become watchdog journalists.
4.) They should be given values on social media platforms so that people come to know the truths behind every fake news.
In the end, I would like to say that crimes are increasing at an alarming rate and its regulators are almost negligible. If this continues, we will soon step into an extremely uncultured and economically-ill society. To prevent this situation, we need a strong and strict watchdog journalism so that the activity of the today’s journalists be kept in-check and they can stop manipulating people and they develop their own idealistic view of every social, political and religious matters.
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed;
Everything else is public relations”
The author of this post is Alina Zaidi (a student at Mumtaz P.G. College)
The views expressed in this article belong to the author/s and do not necessarily reflect those of the JEC Blog. We welcome comments and contributions to this blog – please comment below.