This is a period of transition. A change is coming, a change that will completely alter journalism the way we know it today.
As a student of journalism I have been told time and again, that news needs to be facts only. I agree. Journalism needs to be facts only. I disagree.
The main story needs to be all facts, true but when we are presenting the news to the audience and I will focus only on broadcast news, it needn’t be facts only. Now I’m not saying it should be opinions and sensationalization of facts but I feel it should be an amalgam of facts and opinions.
The audience today is empowered and much more aware than it was a decade ago. The audience already reads the facts in the morning newspaper. What we are looking for is a direction of thought, a need to feel the pulse of the country. This is not possible through a robotic narration of facts like the old Doordarshan days when someone would just read the news and get it over with.
Journalists have the wondrous power to be heard by the masses. This tool should be made full use of. It is a journalist who can encourage the masses to come forward and voice their opinion on something. It is a journalist who can bring social change, who can point out the faults in the governance and raise a campaign to correct these faults.
I remember last year some channels decided to be squeamish about a few sensitive issues. Why should it be like that? Why shouldn’t we be allowed to voice our opinions fearlessly.
Wasn’t it Nehru who called journalists the watchdog of Democracy? I for one don’t think he was talking about the “narrations-of-facts” kind of journalism.
The camera is not a tool for the ministers to propagate their views, the camera is the eye of the public keeping a watch on those who are accountable to them.
I said earlier that a change is coming and indeed it is. The public no longer accepts facts only. We read the newspaper for that. I feel honoured to be a student of this noble profession, practiced by so many fearless, indomitable voices of change.
This is an era of disruption and dissent which create the very substance of democracy. The wheels of change have started to roll and now there’s no stopping it, for this continuous challenging of the status quo will create a better and a more accepting India.