Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The prevailing silence ushers the growth of citizen journalism

The golden goose of our democracy has largely escaped the spotlight for a variety of reasons. A recent expose by OPEN magazine has brought the untouched media to the forefront. For the first time journalistic standards are being questioned in India, and boy, how so!

The Niira Radia tapes have created a furor among the miniscuke twitterati and a small minority who are aware of the news. The larger portion of the media have relegated the news to smaller columns and some have paid a blind eye to it. The Hindu has been particularly careful with its words, failing to name the culprits, Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvii.

The beauty and hope of this murky issue, is the ability of the public to take notice and make noise over the issue. People want answers and they want their newspapers and channels to talk about the issue. Gradually, citizen journalism prevailed and as I write this article, The Hindu amongst many other papers have an article naming the two clowns connected with the issue. (4:42 AM. Nov 24th Hindu Online edition has an article)

I want to bring to attention the entry of American styled double breasted suit lobbyists who are gallivanting the parliament. Over the years, corporate lobbyists in America have wielded Congress like they were the conductor in an orchestra. While this seemed highly fashionable and far-fetched in India, this is the entry of the lobbyists. But fear not, this also is in many ways the growth of citizen journalism. The blogosphere and social networking sites have been on a roll and have taken it upon themselves to spread the scam, and are doing a damn good job at it.

This doesn’t come over as a shocker too me. If you do happen to watch most of the discussions on TV channels, each one already has a set agenda. Broadly termed as agenda setting, it is an inevitable feature in most media and press houses. At the beginning of my journalism course in ACJ, I was told by N.Ram, editor of The Hindu, it is impossible to be ideologically neutral in today’s world. Every paper will align itself to an 
ideology and this is only realistic for the survival of the paper.

What we really need is an independently funded media house on the lines of BBC. Doordarshan can be scrapped due to its laughable funds and bluntly hilarious recruitments. TO uphold the most crucial pillar of a democracy, this is highly important and is the need of the hour. Can such a venture survive and cater to the journalistic standards we demand and deserve? NO. Why? Don’t look to far. We have the apparently INDEPENDET CBI. The rest is best left unsaid.

The way forward, citizen journalism, social networking and blogs!   

1 comment:

fmr said...

Not sure how apppropiate this is - something i read this in an Editor's note in a TIME magazine - 'Impartiality is a dream but Honesty is a duty' .
Bloggers and active citizens whose non-agenda voices help bring such delicate issues, that are often swept under the carpet, to plain view must be lauded. Well done and keep going!