Saturday, 20 December 2014

To report or not to report?

In discussions about ethics and role of the media, many friends and students often question what one should do as a journalist when it comes to reporting the version of “the enemies”.

Here are some thoughts:

First of all, the mainstream media everywhere tends to propagate the dominant narratives that are defined by the ruling class. Narratives that go against the dominant ideology are provided space that varies from one country to another – from outright censorship to selective censorship.

Secondly, journalists are humans and every human subscribes to an ideology or a set of ideologies. Everyone has their preferences. But a journalist should strive to honestly report events and relay information in an unadulterated fashion, regardless of how repulsive they may find it. This defines a fundamental difference between a journalist and a propagandist.

Thirdly, if journalists are unable to maintain this impartiality in reporting then they should avoid claiming for themselves the moral high ground.

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