The Major Elements of News in Simple Words
Let’s talk about these elements one by one:
The first element is the power to smell the news.
It’s understanding to recognize the news. Is this understanding innate in a person? Is this quality of journalism innate in anyone, or can it be sculpted as a journalist?
Some tendencies, skills, and even values—such as courage—are visible in someone from birth. Childhood experiences and habits can also increase or decrease one’s ability to recognize news. But with training, this skill can be hone, or, in a pre-existing condition, it can be sharpened. Those who do not have the ability to smell the news at all initially, they can also develop it within themselves with practice and training.
With regard to the tendency to sniff the news
What is? No business manager or publisher, no owner. The journalist is a watchman standing on the ship of the state, who keeps an eye on every possible danger, small and big, far and wide in the sea. He also kept an eye on those drownings floating in the waves, who could be saved. He also warns of the dangers hidden beyond the haze and storms. At that time he would not have been thinking about his salary or the profits of his bosses. He is there for the safety and well being of those who trust him.
The tendency to sniff the news, gets a journalist to record every little thing. This tendency can ignite by any matter related to the welfare and security of the society. He should not concern whether it harms or benefits the interests of the owner. A true journalist has driven by the concerns of the wider public.
Being a journalist is like being an artist, a thinker, a writer or a lawyer working in the public interest. Journalist is not a businessman, businessman or politician.
Is the art of smelling news only in journalists? No. It’s not like that. It is found in almost everyone. The owner of a media house, for whom his personal interests are paramount, is found to have the courage to sniff the news according to his own accord. Oil, telecom cement, mines, moneylenders, defense deal brokers, politicians, etc., in the world’s largest democracy like India, today these same people have become the owners of media houses. These are the people who invest the income of their main business in the media business, or say, they make the power of the media a means to increase the profits of their main business.
Person with Such Intention
No public good can be expected from a person with such intention. He can only pretend to perform public responsibility. In fact, his main concerns are business, financial interests and political fear and growth in business. That’s why Joseph Pulitzer had so many expectations from trained professional journalists. But over a period of time he proved to be mostly wrong.
In 1904, Pulitzer wrote that a strong will to stick to principles tends to favor professionally trained journalists, who he will use in the larger public interest. He added:
The realization that it would never be acceptable for a respected journalist to be the editor of a newspaper that prioritizes private interests over public interests is enough to discourage such ventures. Such a denial on the reputation of the newspaper in the eyes of the public proves to be as fatal as the dismissal of the papers of the case by an eminent lawyer in the court.
But Pulitzer was proved completely wrong. In our country, these of our oilmen, telecom owners, cement and mine owners, moneylenders, defense deal brokers, politicians kicked out respected professional journalists and trampled on their professional objections, but still kept them in their newspapers and channels. They got trained journalists of their choice to dance to their tunes and defend their interests.
Since we now know very well what the ability to smell news is and how it can be increased and marketed in today’s era, we move on to the next aspect: the power of accurate evaluation. It is something between the first and the third, that is, between the ability to smell or recognize the news and the moral courage.
Columbia University News
When Joseph Pulitzer gave Columbia University a big gift in the form of the Journalism School, he faced many challenges and question marks. Why should one study journalism to become a journalist? Pulitzer believed that in addition to proficient in the art of sniffing news,
reading journalism had three benefits: the ability to accurately evaluate, moral courage, and training and experience. He made the same argument while founding the Columbia Journalism School. Almost a hundred years after the school established, I also had the distinction of getting my education from the same school.
The accurate observation of a news story by a journalist decides what the story is and how it should necessarily be. When this decided, the journalist puts everything at stake in preparing that story. This observation is making by that journalist on a personal level, and,
if his/her story in the newsroom fact-checked, edited and meets the legal criteria, then that journalist will be giving responsibility by any power in this world to fulfill his/her duty and carry out his/her work. Can’t stop it from reaching. Therefore, this observation, this skill of recognizing news needs to nurture.
It also leads us to moral courage
It also leads us to moral courage. Whether editor or correspondent, he has nothing without moral courage. As some thinkers believe that social conditions and geographical conditions also play their part in determining moral courage in individuals.
That’s why journalism varies according to cultures. In some countries, it considered right in journalism to ask questions to every person in power. Therefore, In some other countries, journalists not allowed to question those in power.
In some other countries, there is still the freedom to ask questions to certain specific interests, and in some countries not. These varying conditions are the result of the political systems of those countries; And how much moral courage do journalists show at some place.
Question Takhtanshi Limited to a Few Cultures
We don’t want a world where the right to question Takhtanshi limited to a few cultures. It is not at all desirable that in some countries you can question authority, while in others you cannot.
Let us see what the people associated with this profession who set the standards of journalism believed, despite the cultural differences of different societies. In this regard, Pulitzer believed:
Far above knowledge, news, wisdom, the morality of a newspaper, its courage, integrity and humanity, its sensitivity to the oppressed, its independence, its dedication to public interest and its concern for public service resides in its soul. .
How relevant do the words quoted above seem?
In today’s India, people in powerful positions want to deprive journalism of moral courage. I am not talking about any particular party or ideology here. Nor do any of the capitalist houses who express their unhappiness from time to time or the contractors who favor them.
My complaint is to the most liberal people in the country, including many ‘Public Intellectuals’, for giving me unreasonable consultations on stories even of correspondents who needed indomitable moral courage to carry them out. Called several times with intent. These reports, which mentioned above, were related to media, politics and capitalist houses. Apparently, there was so much resistance to them because they exposed people with a bad reputation in the public eye. They not concerned with how relevant the questions raised , or, that they clearly highlighted conflicts of interest.
In today’s India
In today’s India, these status quoists are happy only with journalism without conscience and moral courage. But you should not kneel. Over the years, contemporaries around the world have recognized that inculcating moral courage and wisdom in journalism is one of the most difficult things to do. But, it is not an impossible task at all. Just as physical courage had taught to students at a military academy or a neighboring martial arts school, moral courage can instill in journalists.
Moral courage can also develop
Moral courage can also developing by studying the struggles of journalists from schools, newsrooms, country and abroad, teaching journalism. As a journalist, even if you are of weak stature, which can be pushed by anyone; Even if no one in the wider society knows you and when harassed by influential people, they may not raise their voice in support of you; regardless of whether you come from a class, caste, gender or region that has been subjected to discrimination;
You may not be counted in the big city… but if you have moral courage, then no power in the world can stop you from colliding with the most powerful person. Then it does not matter whether he is the Prime Minister of the country or the President, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or the richest man in the country and the world. If your story has truth and you have moral courage, then the world is yours.
For Some Time Now, As Editor
For some time now, as editor, I have been seeing these negative forces working more cunningly and cunningly than ever before to create psychological pressure on promising journalists.
After all, you have the power of information. Truth is with you. It is true that powerful people and their henchmen can still ignore you and call you mentally deranged.
Your story may not appear to have an immediate effect; Of course, the business of the world may continue as before, but you have done your job.
This is your achievement. The social responsibility of journalism fulfilled when you show moral courage through your work. Everything else depends on the society and its conscience.