All around today I see moments floating between credibility and chaos… and somewhere between credibility and chaos are the dangerous mutant strands of corruption. So whichever way one moves, the possibility of getting afflicted with corruption is rather high. From politicians to the bureaucrats, from the common man to connected man, and from one end of the country to the other, everyone has an equal probability of emerging corrupt. Even the media isn’t spared from this disease.
The vital issue here is the linking of the media with corruption. The job of the media is to lead the nation towards a credible state and this is generally done by disseminating news that is accurate. It is the correctness of news that has the power to make people think… however, our news propagators (the print, the TV, the radio, and the internet) know that the common man is always open to misperceptions and wrongly placed interpretations. This is why news analysis and edits, debates and discussions, and posts on blogs assume a vital role.
‘I know all this,’ you may say, ‘how is corruption linked to news or views?’
Corruption can be injected into news and views. When the media chooses to selectively report happenings, a certain tilt is given to perception and the common man is liable to believe what is not the complete truth. The media can also publish edits or discussions that articulates a point of view that either places an idea, ideology or individual as larger than the truth… or simply distort an opposing concept so much that it is perceived as ridiculous or unbelievable. If I say that the media is capable of expressing such distortions, I wouldn’t be incorrect… however, it is the job of the media to keep away from fiscal compulsions, force, coercion, duress, and PR needs. What is right is always greater than what is politically and fiscally correct!
So, is Arvind Kejriwal correct when he is reported to have said: “Since last one year, we have been told that Modi is there, Modi is there. Since one year, Modi has also been saying that. Even some TV channels have been saying that Ramrajya has come and corruption has vanished. This has happened, that has happened; a lot has happened. Why did they do it? Because money has been paid to TV channels, heavy amount has been paid to promote Modi.”
Only Kejriwal would have documentary evidence of what he claims is correct, but yes, money and lots of it can flow from the direction of political parties in the guise of PR budget… because, and we all know it, an ad is somewhat less credible than when a newspaper analysis says so! An ad just adds to chaos but a news editorial certainly lends credibility to the perception of a reader.
A newspaper, the television debates, and online expressions on the social media can all have serious perceptive influences on the masses. It is the responsibility of each of us writing a viewpoint to be very careful or be willing to be labelled corrupt. And the corrupt certainly deserve to be jailed!
01 April 2014
Published in ‘The Education Post’ dated 31 March 2014…