Let us not forget that the free and vigilant mass media is essential for human society
Mass media whether in print, electronic or digital formate plays an important role in our society. It is considered as the fourth estate where popular Government functions. Its multidimensional role as a mediator, as a reflector, and as the pressure group plays an important role in the formation of an ideal state as long as the reports/journalists follow the ethics of its relevance and validity remain intake. Firstly, it is the prime obligation of the reporter to follow the basics ethics of journalism and communicate the news as it happened on the ground without any alteration or external influence. Secondly, a reporter is supposed to present the news before the public to ensure the true spirit of journalism. But unfortunately, it has not been seen on the ground.
Earlier there were very limited media groups both in the print or electronic mode, but with the expansion of modern technology, we see the bulk of newsgroups coming into existence. This trend can prove an asset if regulated appropriately but what is happing on the ground in the name of journalism is not a good omen for this noble profession. The news reporters or program anchors who are supposed to be neutral or unbiased are showing undue favor towards an individual or a group. They are showcasing unruly behaviour while reporting or anchoring any debate on news channels which is not a healthy sign for this noble profession. A few of them underestimated the role of other institutions, they try to behave like a policeman, sometimes a judge, and sometimes a wrestler in the ring.
While expressing the changing scenario of mass media and its overall impact on our society, Ravish Kumar, a Ramon Magsaysay Awardee from the same field delivered a serious of speeches in various functions organized by the civil societies, media groups, and universities during his visit in Manila On 6th of September, 2019. He delivered a very extensive and impressive speech regarding the changing role of the mass media with a main focus on the electronic media. The main focus of his speech was on the degrading status of mass media mainly the electronic media. He compared the true journalism with the cactus plant which is struggling hard day and night to sustain its existence despite many odds. According to him, “As long as the reporter circulated the news in the purest form or without any distortion, it will have a deep and positive impact on the general public”. He also talked about the power of citizen journalism. In this context, he mentioned the role of few individuals who are doing the commendable job in communicating the true message to the world as the citizen journalist which is the essence of any journalism but at the same time he showed his concern about the uncontrolled and unruly behavior of reporters. His speech showed the mirror to those media professionals who opt for this noble profession just to earn material gains and do compromise with the basics ethics of journalism.
It is high time to introspect. Otherwise, the time is not far away when the world of journalism loses its credibility, efficacy, or faith and the general public forgets the culture of watching news channels or reading the newspapers. Noble souls will think hundred times before choosing journalism as their career option. Communicating fake news, promoting paid news, creating a sensation, showcasing an unruly attitude while reporting any news is not a healthy sign for this noble profession. According to the Holy Quran which says emphatically that we must verify reports and not rush to pass on the news until we are sure that it is true, even if the news is good news. This is because if it becomes apparent that the one who passed it on is mistaken, he/she will lose credibility before the people, and anyone who bears a grudge towards him/her will use it against them.Let us not forget that the free and vigilant mass media is essential for human society.