When media cries ‘Wolf’!

“My prejudices are fine, but your prejudice is just plain prejudice!” – Well, that’s the new pot calling the kettle black!

Over the past few weeks I have been reading a lot about the negative effects of social media, the spread of fake news, cyber bullying and the heightening narcissism that the medium is inducing. Much of what is being said and written about the social media and how bad it is, is not totally out of place, just that it has been blown out of proportion.

There is a lot for the human race to take the blame for all the negativity that has been spread across the world, in all spheres and why single out Social Media alone?

I have been a strong advocate for professionalism and have felt that the ‘Cult of the Amateur’ in today’s internet world is killing our culture (line borrowed from Andrew Keen’s book of the same name). Read more here: Unbridled growth of social media – the vengeance of the amateur. It is no secret that the social media breeds amateurs masquerading as news providers peddling unverified happenings and in no time the same spreads like wildfire and what they call ‘viral’ is just that. An unabashed spreading of a deadly virus.

But who is to blame?

What are the professionals doing?

Why are they feeling threatened?

Why is this new advertisement screaming?

“If we don’t have the facts, we don’t print the news.”

Well, is it GUILT?

India’s Leading Newspapers” recently came together to proclaim (through full page advertisements) that ‘if a story doesn’t check out for social media it can always be deleted”. While they (the print media) take time, verify all information before they call it news. Well, they call it “News that’s backed by fact” – Is it still a fact when it is “cropped” to suit their narrative?

What about ‘favourable news’ peddled by political parties through the print media, when called out – what do they do? Just publish an apology of an apology in a nondescript gutter space corner of the newspaper and get away with it? And what about all those ‘actual news’ that the mainstream media (read the leading newspapers of India) conveniently ignore to publish, as it does not fit their agenda?

I reiterate News is sacrosanct! The people at the helm of affairs need to bring back the credibility to the profession. Objective journalism is dying in this country, and crying hoarse that “print is proof” is doing no good. For it is the media that created the Frankenstein called social media, and now crying victim is futile!


Pic courtesy: Advt in India’s leading newspapers

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