WHY media & journalists are always at the receiving end!

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Going by so many barbs, innuendos and unkind comments on the social media and even on the social- circuit, it would seem that media is on the receiving end and, often, for the wrong reasons. There are those who sit perennially in judgement and don the roles of prosecution, jury, judge and executioner. If only some of these armchair critics took up responsibilities on the other side of the fence, they could surely put matters in perspective. True, there has been irresponsible reporting, fake news ( since time immemorial) and those that are an embarrassment to the profession. But it takes all kinds to make all professions. There are those in every profession who do not care for ethics, morals and what have you. There are, for instance, so many who are embarrassments to virtually every profession that include, among others,medical,pharmaceutical,engineering,business and industry, the entertainment world, “social service”,academic,science and technology and, of course, politics. But such is, hopefully, in the minority and a woeful minority at that. For, there are doctors, engineers,  teachers, industrialists, scientists, those in social service that serve above themselves, outstanding entertainers and, of course, serious,no-nonsense politicians who say what they mean and mean what they say. It is also true that there are several governments and political parties of the day the world over who keep a tight leash on the media. Starting with the owner, editor and the rest, they are all a helpless lot in such circumstances. But there are those in media who go by all that their profession demands. They are honest and conscientious. Yes, many live dangerously and are not scared. But what they deliver makes a difference to society at large. But not everyone in the media is a journalist. To come to an analogy, in the medical profession, one starts as an intern and, gradually, with experience, becomes a Doctor one day. Much the same way, one starts as a trainee in the media and gradually works one’s way to be called a Journalist. There have been role models like the late David Frost who, among so many achievements, made Richard Nixon confess to his crime. There are others like Tim Sebastian and Steven Sackur of the BBC Hard Talk Series and Christiane Amanpour of the CNN. World leaders and so many others respond to them so spontaneously. There are and have been so many unsung heroes in the print media. But what is common between them all is the rigorous search for the truth and sticking to the norms of journalistic ethics. Media,in the truest sense, remains the fourth pillar after the judiciary, legislature and the executive. What, however, makes the real difference is abiding by time tested values and remaining conscientious, come what may. By   UTPAL Chatterjee, Kolkata based senior journalist & activist

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