Different Colours of Journalism
By raksha kumar
"JOURNALISTS ARE NOT LIARS… they are factually challenged."
-a (wise) man.
In this age of 24*7 journalism, the profession is one of the most spoken about, criticized,yet, interestingly the most sought after. The profession has changed a great deal in the past 10-15 years.
The people in the profession rarely realize their invaluable contribution to the ever expanding database of jokes when they frame headlines like, ‘Teenage Girls Often Have Babies Fathered By Men’.
But you would forgive them for such minor errors, because they work under tremendous pressures. They have to beat the competition! Their rivals in the field would write a headline reading, ‘Tomatoes Come In Big, Little And Small Sizes’ (The Daily Progress, March 30, 1995). I wonder if there were any more sizes he could have mentioned.
No wonder they say that ‘Professional Journalism’ is an oxymoron!
Why are we picking on the small scribes? After all, how many of us have seen the ‘big’ ones in the field make such blunders? Perhaps a few here or there. On the second of November the Los Angeles Times carried a headline ‘Larger Kangaroos Leap Farther, Researchers Find’. I see, what a research that should have been! Twenty days after this The New York Times said ‘Our Survey Finds Dirtier Subways After Cleaning Jobs Were Cut’. Elementary, my dear Watson, why would you want a survey to tell you that!
Now I know the true meaning of competition.
These incidents have forced experts to say that journalism is literature in hurry. Veterans in this field are God’s gift to mankind. Therefore a wise man once remarked, ‘that old reporters never die they just get de-pressed, and old photographers never die they just stop developing’.
‘Who needs comedians? Journalists are much more laughable,’ such compliments are showered on those journalists who can remark ‘War Dims Hope For Peace’ (fantastic!) or even better, ‘Panda Mating Fails, Senior Veterinarian Takes Over.’
I won’t be surprised if we started watching news channels for our daily dose of entertainment. Much has been written about intelligent journalists asking people in flood affected areas whether they are comfortable and cozy!
As a prospective journalist it is my duty to give you both sides of the picture. And the not-so-bad news is that not all of journalism is as bad. There is hope and I wish things change for the better in the future.
© raksha kumar