Journalism in India is facing critical turmoil because we have forgotten the basics of Media, let us try to recall them
Journalism and Media ethics are the protocols that describe the functioning of the fourth pillar of democracy. These are the standards that direct the efficacy and operating of the mainstream media. Misinformation and media manipulation are becoming synonyms are new normal. Everyone is behind TRPs. Over the years, Media has its focus shifted from facts to just popular stories. From reporting to presenting facts according to views and it is no more a secret now.
Journalism in India has hit a new low and over the years, the quality is deteriorating. But that doesn’t mean all are the same. Many independent journalists are keeping the spirit alive and are restoring our faith in unbiased journalism.
Let us take a look at Codes of Conduct every Media House should follow
- The media should not target a particular class or religion. It shouldn’t portray caste discrimination.
- The media should not plan or plot against any person or Commission by conspiring against them.
- The media should not copy or plagiarise others’ content or a piece of work. The content should be self-created. In the case of copying or plagiarising another person’s content, the media person will be liable for infringement of copyright.
- Chanting anti slogans against your country is wrong and unacceptable. Media persons will be charged with the charges of Sedition if their journalism is found to be intimidating and inflammatory against India.
- In the name of journalism, a media person cannot dive into someone’s personal life, make news and benefit from it. A line of decency needs to be maintained.
- Willing or unwillingly no media house should hurt or offend the religious feelings or sentiments of any community.
- The media person has to distinguish between facts and an opinion. Media persons cannot force their opinion on the general public.
- No dishonest means should be used to obtain information from the sources.
- A general protocol of decency should be followed while reporting and covering the issues.
- Respecting the privacy protocol while reporting.
- The responsibility to allow controversial and sensitive reporting without being indecent.
- Media houses must not spread hate for any reason such as race, nationality, religion and gender. They must also refrain from mentioning the religion, race or nationality of the subject of the news unless it is needed. Coverage should be done in such a way that the news subject promotes tolerance.
Is opinionated journalism the new code of ethics?
The media seems to lose its significance in the ‘bashing’ era of media. Opinions, fuss and comments are slowly and gradually becoming the new definition of media. Propaganda, fake news, disinformation and communalism have intensified. The journalists are no longer left with the crucial background and structure that is needed to carry on responsible and honest journalism. Today, journalists aren’t giving the general public a voice or an opinion instead most of the journalists are imposing their opinions without giving the general public a chance to think and form an opinion about it. Therefore, it has become a necessity now to remind the journalists and the media houses to use ethical principles and code of conduct. To work under the prescribed values and frame a proper structure, delivery and evaluation of news and other mediums.
The diminishing credibility of Indian Media
The media outlets were deemed to be a reliable source of news coverage. The information and news were left to the audience to be inferred and judged by themselves. Today in the name of reporting the media house and reporters are passing on personal opinions on every matter, giving the audience hardly any time to think and understand the issue. Be it the coverage on Sushant Singh Rajput, Sridevi or the coverage of Tablighi Jamaat, Media houses were in a race get more viewership. Media in any country works as a watchdog. But over the years, Indian Media has just lost its credibility.
The pertinence and need for media codes couldn’t ever be more meaningful than they are today. Ethical journalism is more essential today to preserve the integrity of freedom of expression with the rapidly increasing percentage of voices and rapid interactions across the Internet. Unethical practices, such as inciting violence, political deception and deliberate misinformation restrict free speech and deny oppressed or vulnerable individuals to raise their voice
Despite the prescribed rules and regulations, some of the media houses continue to work opposite of the prescribed codes. To gain viewership and TRPs, sensational journalism is being preferred. Higher TRPs secures the viability and increases overall the profit of the media houses. The attention has moved on from credibility to sensationalism.
Content Inputs from – The Wire & The Quint
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