Friday, January 14, 2011

Why should we believe you?



“It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.”  ~Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
What is the basis of relationship that a journalist has with his readers and viewers? Next question is what is the currency employed to sustain this relationship? Has this individual acquitted himself to continue receiving our attention and support?
Let me try and make a plausible argument that I maybe able to sell to you my readers. Credibility and integrity are the basis of a relationship that a journalist establishes with his readers and viewers. He does not interact with us on one on one basis, he presents news which is verifiable and we expect and accept that veracity of the news that he is conveying is unimpeachable. Views expressed by him/her could be divergent from the mainstream or from what we may personally hold; that however is not ground enough to doubt the credibility and integrity of the presenter. News is the real yard stick on which he/she must pass muster day in and day out. The bonding between the journalist and the reader/viewer is strong yet paradoxically fragile, a single error and this relationship of many years can come to an end.
Trust is the currency that is employed to sustain this relationship. This is a black and white situation with no scope for any grey areas. This is one currency that cannot be duplicated, counterfeited, stored or utilized in parts. This currency will increase exponentially yet is not good enough to buy you a loaf of bread. Conversely it does not reduce with usage or at a leisurely pace; it can vanish in a matter of seconds leaving the owner bankrupt.
Let me underscore what I have said above by a couple of quotes.
“Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” - Stephen R. Covey
“Trust and reputation are not discretionary. They are as necessary in business as the people in whom they reside.” - Tony Alessandra
The third question that I had posed is? Has the individual acquitted himself to continue receiving our attention and support? This is the really the crux of the matter. Public perception of this individual is that he is known to have run a sustained campaign against Mr. Modi since 2002. His channel has nothing positive to report about the state of Gujarat for past 8years, how is it that nothing worthwhile ever happened in Gujarat according to Mr. Sardesai and CNNIBN in almost a decade?
Furthermore there has been an incident of manufacturing fake tweets to influence viewers by this channel. CNN IBN's Fake Twitter IDs Blooper!: the other issue is that no action has been initiated against deputy editor of CNNIBN for an irreverent tweet about Lord Ram, which is unacceptable. This individual may be affluent, he is bankrupt as per the standards desired for this profession. Here is the latest instance. How known faces appear live at same time on 2 channels !!

This is another interesting blog that I read this morning. A journalist is a gentleman with a glass of red wine. And this gentleman today asks where the injustice is! He is right. All is quiet. Media people love to loudmouth about others but when it comes to issues concerning them, they prefer ignorance. A work which was once considered a mission is now a profession where today’s journalists are mere gentlemen. Thus I am of the considered opinion that they have become a commodity that can be bought or sold. Journalist: A gentleman with glass of red wine: today’s journalists are mere gentlemen. 

“The Sangh parivar, be it the RSS or the BJP, has chosen to live in denial, labelling the accusations as a Congress 'conspiracy', driven by a government which seeks to deflect public attention from corruption. While questions can be raised over the timing of the 'leaks', a strident defence of the accused is misplaced and only serves to undermine the credibility of the country's investigative agencies in fighting the war on terror.” “The error of terror”   Rajdeep Sardesai, Hindustan Times 13th Jan 2011.

Hindu Terror - A retributive Terror?  By RSN Singh

I will leave to the reader’s judgment to accept or reject the assertions being made by Rajdeep Sardesai. All that I have to say is Kaise bazaar ka dastoor tumhe samjhaaoon, Bik gaya jo woh kharidaar nahin ho sakta. (How shall I explain the law of this market? He who has been sold cannot become a buyer.) Yes Mr. M.J.Akbar has also used these very words recently.

I will conclude this post with another quote.
 “Some people will not tolerate such emotional honesty in communication.  They would rather defend their dishonesty on the grounds that it might hurt others. Therefore, having rationalized their phoniness into nobility, they settle for superficial relationships.”  ~Author Unknown 

Latest update as on 09th February 2012
If we compute the worst 10 or 20 riots of India since independence, where does Gujarat 2002 fit in?   via @KiranKS

I welcome a debate and discussion on this…As always, please keep your tone civil, your language polite…no sweeping generalisations please and no personal abuse.  Thank you.