According to Wikipedia, Journalism is the investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience about topics ranging from government and business organizations to cultural aspects of society such as arts and entertainment. The field includes editing, photojournalism, and documentary.
Intellectuals consider Media as a pillar of democracy along with Government, Judiciary and Citizens. Then Journalism, notwithstanding, is an important constituent of modern democracy. It has the power to reach the masses, influence the opinion and conscience of people, ignite debate and also, sometimes, bring about a revolutionary change in society.
Consider it-be it the India Against Corruption movement or covering of various scams, Journalistic Media has always played its part in galvanising opinions. It played a critical part in ensuring our brothers and sisters from North East that they are a part of us and need not to feel unsafe in their own country. The role of media has been commendable during various times for unearthing corruption, giving our unsung heroes their recognition wherever it was due.
However now a days, we are witnessing increasing cases of Yellow journalism which is defined as following by Wikipedia-Yellow journalism, or the yellow press, is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers.
You may have seen various news report on channels like India TV which is a master in Yellow Journalism. Reports like Crop Circle, Alien sightings etc are common on this channel without any basis to prove it. Even reputed news channel like Aaj Tak, NDTV have started following the trend to attract more viewers.
All would have been fine if this malpractice had remain limited to non-significant reports however we are witnessing a trend in which these channels sensationalise even petty issues. An example could be the news about the tiff between Shah Rukh and Salman. A lot of time and energy is wasted on affairs of no importance.
Another disturbing element is projecting people like MNS Chief Raj Thackeray are projected like influential leaders. Consider this; what will you call a person who propagates regionalism and hatred against people of a certain state-probably anti-social. Such person should not be given any coverage whatsoever. These persons are publicity seekers and can be quarantined by avoiding them.
Another issue is regarding favouritism. There have been instances where news papers and channels have been accused of distorting news to favour a particular person or party.
However in the wake of increasing competition amongst news channel, what can be done to counter such Yellow Journalism? This is where our responsibility starts. As an educated citizen of the country, we should use our mind to extract which information is real or which one is fabricated.
We can use social networking sites to counter such attempts to pollute our mind. We should also oppose any rumours from spreading and causing hatred. We should write letters to such publications and media house informing them of mistake on their part. Complaints can be made to Broadcasting Content Complaint Council against offending material.
As a conclusion, I would like to add that our responsibility has increased manifold in the Information Age to filter out what is correct and what’s wrong. We need to observe it with utmost sincerity. Feel free to comment if you have any ideas on this.