Journalist with opinion is a dangerous cocktail.
Term journalist include reporters who reports facts from the ground zero, editors who decide priority and news worthiness, columnists who analyse and give opinions as also the photographers who add spice to dry written pages. Drawing conclusions from facts is part of the job of columnists but of late news reporting also started to give tacit conclusions. Worse happens when many possible conclusions can be reached. The cocktail of news with conclusion was intoxicating enough but now the meth of news is also here.
In the world of 24×7 news channels news anchors, talk show anchors and videographers add to the term of journalists. Hindi word for journalists is Patrakar which literally means words or letter writer. In this century there is a new class of journalists which are new stars of TV news and who earn the political leverage and money like a mass scale marketing strategists.
Presstitutes is a new word coined in India and it was first hurled by a Minister. It is a portmanteau of two words press and prostitute. Journalist with biased views or known close links with a political alliance or ideology or suspected to be paid for the reporting, in question are called presstitutes.
Coming back to our new stars of news, they may or may not be Presstitutes but they certainly have overlapping modus operandi or operating procedure. Pick a target which can be a word, slogan, picture or event and ask its propriety from a known back biter of the person/party in the target. Reply is obvious. S/he will denounce it. If s/he uses strong words, voila a news is created out of nothing. Now go back to target and ask his reply. If he would be fool enough, which is mostly the case, s/he will fall for the trap. This time go to a third back biter. Then go back to target. Audience is hooked. TRP is going up. A sensational narrative is created out of non event if not thin air. Now time to spread the net. A friendly journalist from another channel will pick the thread. And find another back biter and turn to the target. This the second channel will prove that it is an important issue and certify integrity of the first journalist.
Of course the first journalist will keep investigating the matter which is a euphemism for uncovering dirt on meaningless issues.
Soon second journalist will uncover a scoop in a similar way and the first will endorse it as matter of importance. Thus the journalists by scratching each other’s back create meaningless narratives taking focus away from real issues of governance.
How it is important that as a politician what I eat drink or say in private unless it has a bearing on the policy of my government. Why not investigate the factual claims made by party in power and repost to the people that it is a lie or half lie. That is a serious work which requires brain. Why take high road when money and reputation can be build through muddy trenches.
Often reason for this sensational narration is being Presstitute but some time even others fall for the trap by endorsing a non issue.
Examples of narratives:
Some of such campaign now have names: #Intolerance #Beef #Reservation #Bharat Mata Ki Jai.
The last one is currently concluding. Soon a new one will start.
It is a time that in the larger interest of nation, every newspaper and TV channel must evaluate that the so called news is actually a news which deserves to be reported for public interest and not for sensation to increase TRPs.