This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Sameer Bhoi. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Opinion: Is There Any Values Or Ethics Left In Indian Journalism?

More from Sameer Bhoi

‘Value-Based media’ is probably is one of the least valued phases in this contemporary post-truth world. If you are still hoping for mainstream media to be truthful, transparent, accurate, accountable, impartial, objective, balanced then most probably you are over-optimistic and living in a fictional world.

So now a question arises that what led to this distressing trend of Mass Media where even the very basic ‘Media value and ethics’ is being largely ignored. And the situation becomes worse when this ‘ignorance’ is not even a part of mainstream discourse, debate, and discussion. Here we will try to scrutinize this issue by answering a couple of burning questions that have been mentioned below:

Q1: What is the contemporary situation of media so far ethical/value aspects are concerned?

Q2: What led to such consequences?

Q3: And finally, what is the way forward?

Let’s answer the first question! To understand the contemporary state of media in the Indian context we need to have a flashback over the past trends.  There was a time when the press used to be an instrument of social reformations and a weapon to fight against ‘British colonialism’. Most of the freedom fighters and social reformers of those days used pens as a sword to unite the masses for political independence and the formation of a more inclusive society.

Just to name a few; people like Ram Mohan Roy, Aurobindo Ghose, Jyotiba Phule, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Ambedkar, etc. largely used the press as a weapon to propagate their ideas and mobilize the masses. Finally, we got political independence on 15th Aug 1947.

In the post-Independence era, the nature and character of different institutions were changing, so it was quite obvious for ‘Media’(Institution) as well. Now media was no longer an instrument of social change rather had become a source of livelihood just like other professions. But media of the day had not lost its value completely till the 1990s. Even if there was a bit of degradation of value and ethics in this phase, still the spirit of journalism was largely intact. And this was clearly evident during the national emergency when few news outlets continued to become critical of govt of the day despite huge regulations.

Now another trend appeared in the post LPG era where the news industry like other industry became market-driven. Now ethics/value least matter. What matters the most is the ‘profit’. Hereafter the viewers, listeners, and readers have become consumers of media products. ‘Cultural Globalization’ promoted the ‘culture industry’ where domestic media houses faced steep competition from cosmopolitan rivals. The content of the media became diversified and market-driven.

In this consumerism culture what values the most is ‘Entertainment’. People (Consumers) started finding the entertainment value in every kind of media product and even in News which is most concerning. And this created huge room for the media houses to sensationalize their content to give the media consumers an entertainment value, ultimately leading to degradation and dilution of values and ethics.

Way Forward

So, should we say market-driven forces i.e., Capitalism solely responsible for the pathetic state of Mass Media? The answer is ‘No’. If the market-driven forces were the sole reason for its value degradation, then probably the condition of press and media of USA would have been worse than us, America being a society of mass consumerism.

Years back Keynes said, “Demand creates its own supply”. Probably we Indian demand has a fascination for consuming news and views packaged with jingoism, sensationalism that lacks rationalism. Maybe we have a serious dearth of ‘Media literacy’ which is the need of the hours. In order to restore the media institution and make it a value-based probably modification in demand forces is essential. Anyhow people have to develop the skill of critically evaluating media content that they come across and start consuming fair-development societal value-based content by rejecting biased and sensationalized ones.

But who will proactively take this initiative of making people ‘Media Literate’ still a matter a big question? No hope left from Mainstream media, since it has already set its regressive agenda. No hope is left from statutory/regulatory institutions like the Press Council of India (PCI) or the News Broadcasting Standard Authority (NBSA). Maybe it is the turn of ‘Citizen Journalism’ to come forward and plays a progressive role in this regard and restore the mechanism of ‘Value-Based journalism and Mass Media.

Feature image is for representational purposes only 
You must be to comment.

More from Sameer Bhoi

Similar Posts

By GetLegal India

By Ashmita

By Rana Ashish Singh

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below