BY FIDA HUSSAIN SODAGAR
My last write up, “And they call themselves Journalists,” about self styled journalists in Kashmir Reader on 27-08-2018 evoked a diverse response. Most of the readers called it a much needed piece. But, the self styled breed got a sore in the eye. The empty news warriors, seen roaming in Government offices, felt the heat of the beginning of their end.
One among this brigade of self styled journalists asked an interesting question in response to the article. He asks “Shall we give up journalism then”. Before answering, we should understand how he qualifies to be a journalist and what he wants to give up? Roaming in the Government offices? Sipping the tea all day? Gossiping? Interfering in Government work? Copy paste of stories? Defaming and bruising serious journalism? Grapevine communication? What to give up?
He does all this stuff but these things don’t qualify to be called as journalism. So, the question in itself is a vague one. Let me narrate the words told by one of the self styled reporter to his colleague. Recently, I happened to visit a Government Office; one of the wedding photographers (now a self proclaimed journalist) admitted that he should join the wedding photography job back. His message is clear and loud. He is not fit to be in journalism. He can’t report the truth. He can’t do the justice with this sanctified profession.
Serious Journalism requires patience and sacrifice. Listening to music and gossip about everything except the serious stories is not journalism. Journalism is fighting and working to dig out the truth. It is not a war to fight with everyone. Reporting things that doesn’t matter for public can’t make any difference. Society centric stories need a strong commitment. These self styled reporters should realize that journalism is not a baby’s job.
My answer to the question is simple and straight: Yes, give up. It lies in the words of every person living in a civilized society. Give up defaming serious journalism. Stop decorating yourself with the tag that is sacrosanct. Let the serious journalists do the job. Give up before it is too late. (Better late than never!). Journalistic standards and ethics are eternal. Let them flourish and be encrypted in the core of Journalism in the conflict bruised valley. Stop the process of self destruction. Stop the ruthless devastation of credibility of committed journalists. Give up in the larger interest of the journalists who are working inexorably for truth. Let, in the process, a new dawn of ethical and healthy journalism rise!
—The author holds a P.G in Mass Communication and Journalism and writes on various issues. He can be reached at :firstname.lastname@example.org.