NEED FOR INTROSPECTION

It is really an irony of the nation that certain fringe elements misuse editorial freedom which is the most essential rather inseparable ingredient of journalism. Editorial freedom should be used wisely and in public interest. The old adage, ‘Pen is mightier than the Sword’ deserves a special mention in the present day scenario in India especially in the Valley where in the garb of freedom of press some newspapers are openly propagating secessionism, sedition and all sorts of highly venomous ideas that have derailed the whole system there with the children and youth being the worst sufferers. Even at the national level one can find that more space is being accorded by print and electronic media to political bickering, crimes etc so much so that ethics get sidelined by electronic media channels just to maintain their upward TRP graph. The result is that increasing awareness about vital issues concerning the nation and the common people can be glimpsed once in a blue moon. Natural calamities be it drought or floods are being witnessed almost every year in one or the other part of the World’s largest democracy. Not only this, the nation seems to be heading towards population explosion, i.e. the issues that can be fully addressed by according adequate space in media to create awareness. What is expected of media by the common people is that it devotes adequate space to increase awareness about umpteen issues in our country which is inevitable to improve the quality of life of people. Today there is a need to conduct self introspection by different stakeholders including the journalists and analyze as to how far they justify their role in serving the nation and its people without any leanings and bias after which they need to re-devise their approach in profession that demands highest degree of ethics to be followed. The editors have a significant role in writing the present and future of the nation and as such they need to display utmost caution, precision and discipline while presenting the issues and related facts before the people. It needs to be ensured that not only media maintains the high standards expected of it but also it needs to be ensured that it is not fettered by the influence or threats of any extraneous factors. The saddest part is that today people across the nation identify various media houses by their leanings towards particular political parties. The stakeholders need to recall the statement of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi, who said that uncontrolled writing can create huge problems and at the same time he asserted that external interference would wreak havoc. These words of Mahatma should be taken as the key to vibrant freedom of speech and expression and the stakeholders inside the media must practise healthy journalism so that there is no scope left for media being controlled externally especially by the government, the politicians or foreign agencies. So let the required reformation come from within only after a serious introspection.