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IS JOURNALISM FACING CRISIS OF CREDIBILITY IN INDIA?

A journalist in Tamil Nadu in India who is the editor of a Tamil journal has written a few articles damaging the reputation of Tamil Nadu Governor , associating him with a discredited lady college professor who is now in jail.

When the Governor’s office sent a complaint to the police about the article which discredited the Governor, the police arrested the editor and then he was released by the court. Obviously, Governor felt unhappy , as the article contained false information

Now, the question is whether the journalist has the right and freedom to write anything about anybody and damaging the reputation. While in the case of Tamil Nadu Governor, the journalist says that he has investigated , no one knows as to what is the investigation that was done , when and how it was conducted and where is the investigation report.

The journalist association have criticized the police and applauded the judge, who released the editor from the case.

If this would be the condition, nobody could be safe and journalists may harass the individuals and even blackmail them. This is already happening.

In an office, if a boss would question the lady official on any matter and if the lady would be offended, she can make some false charges against the boss and if she has the backing of the media, then the reputation and the life of the boss would be tarnished.

What is particularly shocking in the above case is that when the judge was hearing the case regarding the arrest of the journalist, the judge spotted the owner of an English newspaper who was in the crowd as an observer and asked him for his views. Have we ever heard of a judge seeking the views of a member in the crowd of observers while hearing a case?

In the last few days in India, TV media is having a “great time “ as a few women are accusing some men for having abused them several years back and the episode is titled “ Me too “. There is no conclusive proof that men have misbehaved and the women have been abused and the men have denied the accusation. Media is pre judging the issue and is conducting media trial, with no accountability for the media and the journalists. The reputation of the men involved are getting irreparably damaged.

The question is whether journalists have unlimited right and privilege to say or write whatever they want and are they accountable to none. The journalism in India seem to be going astray

It appears the distinction between politicians and journalists are disappearing fast in India , with the journalists in most cases being suspected of having direct or indirect political leanings or excessively carrying out the instructions of the boss while preparing the scripts. We all know that several newspapers, journals and TV media in India are owned by politicians and business men.

Today, journalism in India is facing a crisis of credibility.

(Author N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the “Nandini Voice for the Deprived,” a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.)

Published Date: Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 | 09:03 PM

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