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Thou Art That
A Spot of Philosophy and a Splash of Everything

Journalistic Ethics

Category: , , By FreaKo
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Last week GA thought about bashing the media for all the misinformation it feeds and the general lack in understanding by its rookie editorial board as to what their job is, however, GA decided against it then. People are, anyway, going to lap up its fare without even a second thought and will judge one media store from another just based on whom they like or just plainly, who keeps them happier by way of the most twisted truth one would want to hear. Journalistic Ethics is not an oxymoron created for amusement; rather it is a reality out there, everywhere and in your face.

In an article titled
Journalistic Ethics and Other Oxymorons, on the website for Center for Advanced Technology in Education, University of Oregon, the writer gives you a very good example of journalistic ethics. However, he did not articulate it enough as these are just exceptions which we need to applaud, and this incident happened not because the media kept away on their own (one should be on a high to conjure that), but because they were pushed to do so.

Now let’s take a look at what is happening in our own country. Right now, the media frenzy is about the “Arushi murder case”, so much so that they have totally forgotten that there was another person killed in the whole episode, which I guess, both the media and the law enforcement has forgot. What has the media done here? Do they care a damn about privacy of individuals? What you see these days are personal, pictures and home videos of the girl’s family. Every news channel and newspaper journalist has thrust a mic into the face of all and sundry relatives and friends in their daily “Exclusive Interview” scoop. Has the media given a moments peace for the aggrieved family and friends to mourn their loss for atleast a minute, what with the crowd of OB vans and media army camping outside their house. This kind of voyeuristic journalism is nauseating at best. Step back and look at the other victim. Do you remember the name of the deceased? Hemachandra (I believe that is the name) was a domestic help at the girl’s house and he was brutally killed on the same day as the girl. But how many news channels have told you about the loss for the people for whom he meant a lot?

It is considered to be a taboo to mention, but to say that the media in our country is impartial, and there is no class bias in reporting is a big fat and obnoxious lie. The other night, on a show hosted by Bharka Dutt, Deepak Chaurasia, I don’t know which channel he represents as he has been changing channels faster than his cloths, was very vocal, angry and shouting at everyone who dared this topic. He went on to say that what the media was doing is just plain reporting. He said,

“What do you want us to say? Do you want us to say that the ‘Police allegedly said’ that he is the’ alleged’ killer? Whom do we believe? Shouldn’t we believe the Police”.

My answer to the boorish Deepak Chourasia is first of all his arguments in the programme was despicable. Secondly, for a person of his stature he shouldn’t be expecting his viewers to tell him how his news needs to be written and if he still insists on his arguments, he should rather take the advice given by one of his audience at the show and gracefully give up his job, it is just not meant for him. I would rather suggest him be the spokesman for BJP which is what he has been all through these years! The truth is there is a very distinct class bias in the reporting of events happening across the country. How many reams of paper, sound bytes and length of video tapes have been wasted in reporting the Nitish Katara murder case or the murder case of a glorified bar girl (I forgot the name here again)? And have you heard of the massacre in a village where entire population of dalits where burned or hacked to death? Have you heard of the wall built around a dalit settlement so that they cannot go out or come in? Chances are you might not have heard it! These news are available in the “other stories” section while you have panel discussions, and expert comments on pop murder cases.

If at all you would want to check this, just check out the “other stories/news” section of your favorite news media and try to follow up the story in the coming days. Chances are you wouldn’t even find that story from the next day, god forbid, while some other pop-murder happens.

In the next part of this article, I shall be posting on another aspect of media behavior and why there is class bias. Please drop in your comments so I shall try to answer and also accept your view points as much as I can. Till then happy news hunting.

4 comments so far.

  1. Multi Menon June 4, 2008 at 11:51 AM
    Nice post...

    and btw,the name of the other man deceased was hemraj and not hemachandra...

    I saw the same show,but I felt that the media had done their bit to highlight the misery,India Police force was under..I mean,how cud they conclude without valid reasoning that dr.talwar was the killer???even if he was,they did not have solid proof....and caling the 14 yr old aarushi as characterless clearly lacked sense..How cud they end up with
    such a bizzarre conclusion??


    and deepak chaurasia..man!!he was talkin trash..He is the EXEC director of TV today network incharge of aaj tak and headlines today....

    hey.u cud do away with the word verification thing...
  2. Green Alien June 4, 2008 at 1:38 PM
    Multi Menon, Thanks for the clarification on the name.

    I was not discussing on the merits of the police here rather I was discussing the class bias the media has in reporting and to say that it is the 'media has done thier bit' would not be right. All they did was feed on the police statements, they probably forced the police to bungle up!

    We do not wanta trial by media here all they should do is stick to thier jobs!

    This only the first part of my posts on the media. I shall be posting more in the coming weeks, time permiting.

    Meanwhile, read this,a capsule version which would give you a better perspective.
  3. Green Alien June 4, 2008 at 1:39 PM
    As for the "Word verification" it is to avoid unwanted spam. Dont worry, it is only a temporary arrangement till the world is inhabited completelt by civilized people.
  4. rinzu June 20, 2008 at 10:33 PM
    nice post...!!!


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