Reporting at the time of war, interviewing a business tycoon, Responsibility of providing the right to information to all were the key incentives which made me take up journalism as one of the subjects during college times. Theoretically and practically equipped to a minimal extent, still did not pursue it as a career as my mother was hysterical with the idea of me reporting crime stories.
In retrospect I don’t think I made a completely wrong decision of not pursuing it. I have gone from the phase of considering journalism as one of the noblest profession during college time to wondering if I can just get away from all the news that gets displayed on visual or print media. Thoughts that run across my mind while watching/reading these days are:
a) Did someone pay to write from this point of view? (Journalism standards and ethics –Reporting should always be non biased point)
b) Was this entire scene staged? (Journalism standards and ethics – Accuracy to be the guiding principle for reporting)
c) How could the reporter be asking such questions to a person who just lost his family?(Journalism standards and ethics – Be compassionate, sensitive, cautious and judicious to all people involved)
d) How can they use such words in the article to sensationalize things(Journalism standards and ethics – Appropriate usage of words, clarity and brevity)
The one role that is taken ‘too’ seriously is the role of informing the public of everything. Be it a snake getting into a politician’s house, the home improvements made in the politician’s house, the whereabouts of actors, sensationalizing a crime story or terror incident (26/11) and revealing all the details (tips for budding crimes), harping on superstitious practices and its benefits etc etc. All the ‘news’ pieces would find prime spots in print media and if it is visual media then it can range from it being flashed in headlines to discussions over these cases for days together.
In text book terms this kind of journalism was called ‘Yellow Journalism’ where news is created for catching the eye of people or for entertainment value by resorting illegal practices. However now it looks like the entire news arena is Yellow. Its not like news does not get reported but these articles with its glitz and extravaganza supercedes the actual news pieces and leaving some of us(atleast me) imagining that we are all part of a circus created by media.