Sunday, December 15, 2013

Media: Watchdogs and Lapdogs

By Dr Rabin Man Shakya
Former Lecturer of Journalism, Peoples Campus and RR Campus, TU.

Journalists across the world are facing threats and intimidation for what they write. It has become a common thing for journalists to get minatory words from corrupt politicians and tycoons.

Yes, journalists are trailblazers. The proud representatives of the Fourth Estate provide people with necessary news, views and feedback for the common benefit of the society, community and the nation as a whole.

In fact, a media person is part of an operation that could be confronted by multiplicity of challenges and issues. Because  journalists are formulators and disseminators of news and views, they have a great responsibility towards the people, civic society and the nation.

Despite all the challenges, journalists champion the cause of the common people, society and the nation. And, of course, the threatening behavior and minatory words of the corrupt politicians and tycoons do not have any kind of negative impact on the true and honest journalists who always play the watchdog role.

There were and still there are lots of examples where the victims of accidents or disputes have been rescued with the help of journalists and media outlets, where reporters took up the gauntlet against injustice, corruption and different kinds of malpractices rampant in the society.

Well, there are good things as well as bad, good people and bad ones. In journalism sector too, not all media people are trustworthy. There are some journalists who misuse the profession. Media's power to bully people who have broken no law is dangerous to all of us. Media outlets and journalists do not have the right to become 'police' or judge. That is why there were no dearth of cases when yellow press faced a journalistic reckoning.

In case of Nepal's journalism, there is still a journalistic stigma attached to the weekly newspaper journalism, as many of them are brazenly pro-corrupt leaders and tycoons thereby playing the lapdog role.

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