Barkha Dutt, in Everyman’s story (December 30), has strengthened the theory that ‘science is a good servant but a bad master’. Mobile phones, internet and other inventions in the IT sector have made a great impact on people’s lives. It has made people’s participation in the media a reality. Today, people are sending their opinions directly to news agencies. It has become possible due to these inventions. In future, people will be aware of new technologies and their use will be on the mass basis. Unfortunately, this will also involve misuse.
The MMS and SMS wave is a reminder of the extent an individual’s story can go. Some TV channels have started programmes where viewers are welcome to send in their video stories captured through camera. This kind of journalism tells us about the lack of credibility and immaturity on the part of the sender. True journalism is when reporters go to the root of the story to capture it. Even comparing serious journalism to a ‘blog’ is demeaning. Their articles demand authenticity, censorship and viewership.
Barkha Dutt has referred to the contribution of general masses in the news gathering process and has welcomed the people to the journalistic club. But what is the assurance that their news will appear in the media? Now the number of journalists has increased so much that it will be difficult for people from other professions to find media space. New entrants are kept at bay unless they are very capable.
Barkha Dutt contradicts the entire basis of the ‘public driven’ virtual witch-hunts underway these days, viz. the Jessica, Katara and Afzal cases. In case my presumption is wrong, Dutt has got the description of popular opinion horribly wrong. Thankfully, these cases have to go through the courts, and hopefully the judges are not swayed by popular sentiment. At the end of the day we are a democracy and there’s a process laid down for everything and a role attached to each entity.
Barkha Dutt is right that technology has changed the news gathering process. No one is unavailable in this techno-savvy society and could be reached easily when required. To take advantage of new technologies is not at all bad, but one must be true to one’s conscience.
Apropos of Prakash Patra’s article Our mines, their mines (January 2), the political tussle between the Centre and states has spread to the regions endowed with rich natural resources. In spite of having such resources, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are unable to exploit them. The CMs of these states should seek the Centre’s help if needed and use these resources to generate income for employment, education and health facilities. The Centre must keep in mind the states’ welfare when drafting policy.
System is corrupt
It is shameful that our police refused to file FIRs when the parents of Noida victims contacted them. The media also ignored these incidents. We know what happened when the child of the Adobe CEO was kidnapped. The media was eager to cover the story while the parents of the victim refused any media intervention. Even high-profile criminals are getting more media and government attention than these poor victims.
Scope of security
Abhishek Singhvi in The enemy lies within (January 3), is right that though the term ‘internal security’ is often used, no one cared to fathom the actual meaning and scope of this including former internal security minister Arun Nehru who is from J&K. Even if we are comfortable with internal security, we can’t be sure that external security will not be threatened by our enemies.
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