Media is run by people. People have biases, which are getting wilder as the world goes more wireless, sky-drone, space wars, AI enslaved and mobified. Those biases always reflect directly or in terms of what they choose to show / publish or not. Ethics always existed but in very small doses and its increasingly rare and myth. Governments are mostly worried about saving their butts / votes, and unethical or paid / practical journalism (funded by beneficiary capitalists) plays a big part in that so they won’t have to create / implement good laws and advocate a social culture that encourages truth, transparency, morality and ethics. Raping universal resources to benefit a few connected spies, cronies, profiteering species is simply inhuman.
In today’s digital world, mobile apps, newspapers, OTT platforms, portals and TV channels are mostly owned by rich cronies and/or politicians or a covert mouth piece of some party or its allies. No wonder, so-called news obviously comes out to general public smearing its own colors / hues, we the people only get different versions of the same story. They tell (misinform or ill-inform), and we decide as to what can be the truth or its simplistic alternatives. Though news was supposed to be reported but not created by putting ideas / views / opinions which often happens in numerous live discussions and social media videos for hours together. In most cases, it is done for gaining stuffs like TRP, money, followers, ad contracts, app downloads, mobile eyeballs, political favors, and more. So, we are forced to counter this pandemic of media warfare – both traditional and digital!
With exceptions, which are targeted to appeal specific political groups, journalists are trained to cover stories that they believe majority of the people want to know about. Most journalists are not politically biased as much as they are sensationally biased. They want something sensational and they will try to put a hyper slant on every story they cover.
Earlier media houses were run by people who wanted to make the public aware of events as they took place but today the media houses are run by cronies who have vested political and economic interests. A journalist might want to speak only truth but the true stories drafted by him will only see light if the editor or owner approves. If the editor who is bound to safeguard the business and political interests of the media group finds the stories drafted by the journalist contrary to the interests of the media group the latter will either have to drop his stories or compromise on the content. In either case truth is the first casualty.
Mostly a news item is published for its news value rather than the element of truth in it and its relevance for the society. Thus the bedroom story of a celebrity or ideological mockery of a political branding machine becomes a hotter and important news than the death of scores of children from apathy in a remote village.
During elections, contesting candidates are approached by leading newspapers / channels / digital platforms to pay for news (AI items) coverage. Pay a hefty sum and get a coverage in media else you get no coverage. They’re exploiting digital media hiring smart PR cum big data agencies to strategically bombard as many good or bad things necessary during election time. A few decades ago this was something unimaginable but in the rat race for survival, the so-called 360° media brands have severely compromised their commitment to classical human rights and democracy inscribed ethics synthesized from revolts and renaissances of our brave ancestors. A single news item gets published in two platforms in two different ways. Instead of reporting what has happened, the media crooks report what they want the public to blindly believe and/or subscribe to their funding mobs.
The Media sensationalizes everything and helps divide people instead of uniting them. Also most of the newly suited-booted breed of media people are arrogant personalities and state their opinion as if it is objective reality. Bringing government controls to ensure objective reporting is not a solution. The public in general are aware of the biases of media brands they follow, read or apps / channels they watch. If the reader wants to find the truth behind a report he/she surely can, despite 24/7 govt surveillance.
Professional journalism has always been a business of writing or reporting in any form, and is inevitably interpretive. The motive of owners, publishers, editors, advertisers, producers and writers is and has always been to titillate the audience though they might refer to that goal with the more euphemistic term: interest of the reader. – March 23, 2020
Relying on India’s biased elite media networks can be a deadly affair. Watch these to know how much low can they reach morally, free fall bungee jumping from ethics towards fun of quick money & fame.. Outrageous, yes. Let them declare REAL assets openly and prove if not paid by political masters, direct or indirect. Reading between lines, body language, their line of rich / pet panel experts, I’ll remain skeptical, however prolific their oratory or writing maybe.
Majority of Indian media hardy have any credibility. Most of the reporters are poorly educated / trained in journalistic ethics, cultural morality, unbiased analysis & severely lacks integrity towards the society, value systems & truth. It is widely believed that money & power can easily buy practically any news media. A nice dinner at a decent restaurant with single-malt scotch is sufficient to plant any “news” even in national media!
At present its all about sensationalism and biased reporting – some dirty ticks in suppressed radia tapes. Radia’s conversations reveal deep-rooted malice by private enterprises in connivance with government officials for extraneous purposes, the Supreme Court had recently opined. Like Rubert Murdoch’s or even Tech Musk’s legacy most media houses have direct links to corporate houses / political parties which is always reflected in type of news they report / opinions created.
More concerning is Govt authorities wanting to curtail social media – read some recent comments from even office bearing ministers. Divide and rule, pitch organized media vs unorganized social media, bhakts vs humanity. Hope they understand that despite shortcomings and in a global culture it is not wise to filter content from either media. Many democracies, including India & US, are yet to understand the importance of unbiased, neutral media to sustain a functional democracy, stop mutation of human values and empathetic cultures. Go and retrain yourselves in a cool jungle!
Finally, ideas like Wikileaks, Ravish Kumar, Panama Papers, Snowden, Chelsha and Many Other Unknowns exposing public office crooks can be a close reality of ethical journalism – as they are adapting to take advantage of new circumstances and possibilities. Open Internet has become what journalism used to be; full of choices / news and freedom to choose who is ethical. Additionally the money that pays for this medium is usually the advertisers. New and less popular portals like WisePoint.org and realestatetimes.in are entirely non-profit without even ads, reason why profiteering bhakts hate such unfit foolish ideas.
There is nothing wrong with making a profit so making money and being ethical are not always in conflict. One can be ethical and profitable at the same time. Clearly you can sometimes make more money by being practically unethical (as long as you don’t get caught) but that is no more or less true of journalism than any other field.
One thought on “Ethics in Mainstream Media and Digital Journalism – a myth or reality?”
Very sad for Shri Arnab ji, how and why this “great media person” got arrested in a filmy-style despite being cozy with current rulers, serving practical state vs state recipes for their thumping wins everywhere? Also why only blame this poor @republic CAN of media newbie? Demand more wisdom about the authors behind even your democratic learning systems #NationalEducationDay