‘Return to the core values of journalism’


Returning to the core values of journalism and maintaining credibility is the only way to ensure that people keep their faith in the media, said panellists at the session on “Shooting the Messenger: Media Bashing in Today’s Age.”
Speaking at The Huddle 2017, which kicked off in Bengaluru on Friday, Mahfuz Anam, Editor, The Daily Star, of Bangladesh, said the media “partly deserves” the bashing it gets, having shifted from its traditional core values of public service. The present age of shifting tides in journalism needs a dialogue between “journalists who need freedom and owners who need profit,” he said. Journalists also need to have a dialogue with readers and introspection is needed, he added.
The newspaper industry can reinvent itself by analysing and contextualising in the present scenario where news is available instantly on the internet. In a marketplace where NGOs, business houses and politicians control the media, authentic media will survive, he said.
He was responding to questions raised by N. Ravi, Director of Kasturi and Sons Limited, who moderated the session and posed questions on issues of “trust and credibility” in the media today.
Ravindra Kumar, Editor of The Statesman, said that bashing of media is neither new nor should surprise anyone. “By now we should have found a solution to it,” he said. He pointed out that until the ‘90s readers were paying for much of the content, but massive cross-subsidising by advertisers had changed it, increasing the reliance on business. He also underlined the need to identify different strands of the media — television, print and internet — and not confuse the strength or credibility of one for the other.
John Yearwood, Executive Board Chairman, International Press Institute, responding to a question by Mr. Ravi on American president Donald Trump calling journalists dishonest, said that many leaders around the world have taken on the media before, but never anyone with “such delight.” The bashing may not be restricted to social media alone, but also result in physical attack, he said. Mr. Yearwood, however, said that there was also a heart-warming trend of more people turning to media to know the truth because of trust and respect they repose in the media.


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