Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2009 | By Gautam | In freedom of expression
The day of July 3rd. Times of India carrying almost half a page of coverage of section 377 of IPC being declared illegal by the Delhi High Court on the first page with more news and editorial material on the inside pages. What do I infer about the newspaper? That it supports a libertarian point of view and wants India to move forward without being souped up in trivial matters. The scene was totally different for Rajasthan Patrika, a vernacular newspaper which prides itself in being the most widely read newspaper in Rajasthan. The same news found space, but only on the 8th page and that too for a space of almost 2 square inches!!! Instead it carried the viewpoints of two distinguished personas condemning the ruling on the same page with more newsprint and ink devoted. Journalism and how???!!
Newspapers are called the fourth pillar of any democracy. Or so we thought. More and more newspapers have started to take sides and/ or publish news that they deem is correct and suitable for their readers. The editors, those intellectually superior beings, are happy towing the line the owners of the newspapers take. Not for one second thinking about their duty towards building a better society, their duty towards democracy. TV news channels had for long become victims of sensationalism, vulgarity and doling out trivial news. Their print cousins are simply following suit.
Gone are the days when one Mr. Ramnath Goenka decided to publish blank pages of The Indian Express to show his solitude towards the Indian Constitution and its people. And oppose the dictatorial emergency in India with Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi at the helm.
Its a sad state of affairs when newspapers are trying to push forward their morality on their readers without reporting the facts in an appropriate manner and letting the reader make an informed decision. This tendency is seen more in vernacular newspapers rather than their english cousins.
Journalism seems to be dead. The fourth pillar of democracy- Rest in Peace.....