‘Unbiased’ journalism is the fourth pillar of a democracy. In the past, there is no use to introduce this word ‘unbiased’ before journalism. Journalism in its true sense was purely unbiased, free from any prejudices. But recently, journalism has changed critically in its true sense. In fact, recently, a twin of journalism has been emerged with a new facet of a criminal mindset. We can call it ‘Terrnalism: A new fashion in journalism with distorted facts.
To deliver impartial, real and raw truth to the people is journalism. Actually it is the responsibility of a journalist to deliver the facts and to report the incidents; not the opinion of his own. We, the reader, has every right to know the absolute truth. We are not supposed to do anything with the opinion of a journalist. His perception towards any incident may be differ from the reader. Let the reader decide the consequences, let the reader create his own understanding, his own perception towards the occurrence. But a few journalists do not play their responsibility and distort the truth as suitable to their own agenda. Not only they distort the facts but they judge the incident from their own point of view. This is not journalism! Not at all! It is like putting your words in someones mouth. As far as the truth is concerned, absolute and complete truth is important whereas half truth is to be be considered as a falsity. In fact half truth is more dangerous.
To deliver forged and half news is a recent fashion in journalism. Such journalism is a betrayal towards the unbiased journalism. Added with any unnecessary provoking word or sentence in a news can destroy the harmony of society. Furthermore Indian society with a huge diversity, is woven with our secular fabric. It is very precarious and vulnerable enough and any provoking words can play a vital role to distort communal harmony. Putting extra and unnecessary punctuation such as exclamation mark or question mark may twist the facts and misled the society towards any selected agenda.
So a journalist should be very selective for the appropriate words as well as for the punctuation to avoid any misconception. But nowadays few journalists intentionally use such punctuation or some provocative words to misled the public and create nuisance.
A pen in a hand of a ill minded person is more dangerous than a sword. The importance of pen can be understand by this poem of Great Ramdhari Singh Dinkar –
कलम देश की बड़ी शक्ति है भाव जगाने वाली,
दिल की नहीं दिमागों में भी आग लगाने वाली
पैदा करती कलम विचारों के जलते अंगारे,
और प्रज्वलित प्राण देश क्या कभी मरेगा मारे
एक भेद है और वहां निर्भय होते नर -नारी,
कलम उगलती आग, जहाँ अक्षर बनते चिंगारी
From the above poem we can see the importance of a pen. Pen in a right hand can create a huge awareness in public but in wrong hand it will be devastating and can destroy the harmony of the entire society and nation.
So, with forged news and half news a journalist is not a voice of society. But rather I would like to call him a Terrnalist and such journalism is Terrnalism, a major threat to the nation.