Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Quality of Journalism

Whereas in the US erudite concerns are being raised about an already high standard of journalism, in India it is going from bad to worse.

I can only shake my head at the colossal stupidity of a newspaper editor who would allow the publishing of a major political leader's personal mobile number, and that too right in the headlines.

Well yes, the US has its tabloids, but when a long-standing, reputed newspaper in India (and one which I think has the largest circulation in English broadsheets) starts peddling trash and worse, it is time to be concerned.

The reason why most young people don't like The Hindu, the best Indian newspaper in my opinion, is precisely why we are seeing a grave decline in the quality of Indian journalism. That is, the desire to be entertained and titillated instead of being informed, and to be treated as infants, with colors and toys.


Surbhi Goel said...

you are hard and demanding of young people, Harman. Why should they, in particular, bear the burden of boring reporting and insipid news, when they are already repressed and suppressed in many ways. And The Hindu being the best is your preference because you do not know what games do they play ( yet).

Newspapers have always been for entertainment as well, and not just a narrative of a 'news item'. Informed is a loaded word for anything that hacks write. Am i being too harsh on them, poor Journalists, who are as much a product of society as others - politicians, police, teachers , hoteliers, doctors etc.

have a wonderful day!

loky said...

Hey, just read this news story. I think the mobile number is that of Maoist leader Kishenji. Unless ofcourse you consider him to be a major political leader, I think you mistook whose mobile number that was!

Harmanjit Singh said...

@loky: Of course Mr Kishenji is a political leader, notwithstanding the fact that he leads an outlawed movement which seeks to gain political power through a violent revolution.

Ketan said...

@ Surbhi:

While people might like their news to be colorful and entertaining, a certain degree of reliability of that news is necessary because people will form their opinions on their bases, and then also make decisions based on them.

Young or old, the choice is readers' whether to access seemingly unbiased information, or read a prepackaged opinion with "free decision inside".

@ Harmanjit:

The issue is not only balanced approach, even reliability of these news is suspect. I have concluded, many times news are even manufactured. I remember during 26/11 operations, a Hindi news channel had shown a mobile video clip of a "terrorist" peeping from some window of CST station (who I could not see in the clip), and also reported a bomb blast there. I had a feeling of strong disbelief at both the pieces of news (because I could not see the terrorist despite their marking that region with a red bull's eye in the clip), and within 5 min they later retracted both pieces of news!

You might like to go through this post, where I have pointed out same event being reported very differently by two news agencies, so much so that the names of the people involved are also changed!