In times of social media when Twitter and Facebook have become major source of news, it has become increasingly difficult for newsrooms to decide, what to take and what not to take. Often, the lines between truth and what makes news blur putting the difficult responsibility of selection on media organisations.
Harsha Bhogle, renowned cricket commentator and journalist himself, has shared his thoughts about the same in a Facebook post that has gone viral. In his post, he talks about the alarming times that we’re living in “When mass media abdicates its responsibility”.
He talks about a time when responsible journalism was practiced and the only way to compete was to put the news out faster than other and not resort to delivering what’s sensational.
“There was a time when being a journalist, a bit like being a judge, meant that you were bestowed a certain responsibility. People believed in you and that trust had to be worn at all times. But news was competition too and so you needed to stay ahead. You did that by getting news early but you were still truthful, or at least a majority felt the need to be so. Then social media arrived and with twitter, facebook but increasingly with whatsapp, everyone is a journalist but without the responsibility of being one. And so the onus of sifting between the dignified and the truthful, and the provocative and the untrue, is now no longer with the disseminator of the news but with the receiver,” he writes.
Bhogle also talks about the present state of journalism when the provider of news becomes news himself/herself. “When the provider of the news seeks to become the news and therefore needs to act provocatively to attract attention (the very act he/she should be filtering out), we are in dangerous times,” he writes.
The thought may or may not be provoked by the recent Facebook post made by journalist Barkha Dutt slamming Arnab Goswami that went viral.
In her post, she had spoken about how Times Now calls for “gagging of media & for journalists to be tried &punished” and how it would “kill” her to be on the same side of any issue as Arnab.