Modern-day Journalists- Watchdogs or Bloodhounds?

There was a time when I was a student of Journalism and had many ideals in mind. There was a time when I remember studying in class that Journalists are the watchdog's of society. Perhaps some took offense at 'dog' being used but now more than ever I believe it is rightly so.

The articles we read, the kind of news that is covered are all about sensationalism today. There is not the slightest shred of dignity or righteousness preserved in the minds of the author's or the cameramen anymore. Switch to any channel and you will see highlights of explicit news coverage, stories blown out of proportion and simply titillating and insouciant stories.

Today, back home from office, I happened to switch on the local News channel only to see a report where poor girls being disrobed by malicious rowdies were shown in explicit detail repeatedly. The news was about a local tourist spot at which unsuspecting young lovers were accosted by local thugs and women made to disrobe and captured on videos and pictures. The horrendous images, cries and faces still flash through my eyes and I was appalled at how much a channel would sink for the ratings.

If the purpose of the news was to inform the public, then let me state clearly that it was no such thing. Rather it was equivalent to some B-grade movie being shown on TV. Apparently, young lovers who had been caught in lonely 'tourist' spots were being targeted by a gang and videos were sold illegally. The channel proudly showed the entire sequence ending with some nine members being nabbed, whose faces were flashed for a few minutes. The larger part of the sequence was of some young kid crying and struggling to clothe herself while her so called 'boyfriend' stood by!

Firstly I wonder why these kids could not choose the alternative of the thugs revealing their secret rendezvous to their families over disrobing. It is a cruel and unforgiving time we live in, if the young kids are so scared of their own families that they would much rather be subject to such humiliation by the filthiest of the lot than be punished for their indiscretion with a 'lover'.

More to my chagrin was the fact that the girl whose face and nude images were flashed on TV would never be able to resume a normal life thanks to the 'callous' and utterly unethical news channels intervention.

This is but just one example, reports of 18 year old's married to 88 year old men looking to have the 100'th child and more are applauded by the media the world over. It seems news has become about a race to see who can be the most crass, the most insensitive and sink down to the gutters in a bid for publicity. When will someone wake up and punish these blood suckers who simply look at the money and the ratings? When will these atrocities of filming, photographing and writing such ludicrous articles and content end and someone feel the pinch of conscience enough to step up and say STOP! It is high time, such yellow journalism, such cheap and pathetic attempts were stopped. It is high time, these 'journalists' are stripped down of their so called profession which has made a complete mockery of everything news and the media once stood for. I stand in anger and silence wondering if things will ever change. As Oscar Wilde said " It was a fatal day when the public discovered that the pen is mightier than the paving stone, and can be made as offensive as the brick bat. They at once sought out the journalist, found him, developed him, and made him their industrious and well-paid servant. It is to be greatly regretted for both their sakes."

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