By Shanthi Cheriyan:
“The whole aim of journalism should be service. The true function of journalism is to educate the public mind and read the mind of the country and to give definite and fearless expression to that mind. Public has the right to know the truth. It must be informed objectively as to what is happening. Definitely the Press has power, but to misuse it is crime.“- Mahatma Gandhi
From taking up the case of the Delhi gang rape to bringing up various scams to the front, India media sure is emerging as a very powerful change maker. It has the power to shape our reality.
But many a times the new emerging journalists forget their true aim and role as to why they took up this profession. Many stop at just reporting the facts, journalism has another role. To be the change and to play a key role in changing the face of the nation. And that is why development journalism plays an important role in today’s media. Because journalism should not stop at politics, business and sports. It has a responsibility to write the truth about the real condition of the country, of its people. The truth that can change the face of the society and pave way for development.
Poverty, education, unemployment, health, sanitation, human rights, gender issues, crimes- these are issues that we witness in our day to day lives, the so called ‘development’ issues, the one that determine the development of the country. But most of the time, we journalists stop at just reporting the issue and do not take up the issue forward and these people remain unheard.
This is why development journalism is important. Because here, the duty of the journalist does not end up merely by reporting the facts. They have a moral responsibility to observe and identify the problems that we witness around us each day, delve deeper into the issue, and to take up the issue forward to the government and to ensure that change is brought about. It will make us more humane and connected to the people. That is where I believe the duty of a journalist lies. Service. Not just to report the truth to the public, but to serve them and to improve the socio-economic condition of the society.
As a journalist, I believe that it is this journalism that can frame the future of our country. We need to understand the root problems and not just stay at the surface. For the young and evolving minds who are coming to the forefront to make a change to the Indian society, this is an idle profession to take up. Because what development journalism demands is to fight, to have the courage and determination to take up risks and the spirit to make an impact. After all, what gives more motivation than knowing that you are responsible to society and that you can make an impact in changing lives!