Shooting the messenger has become an international hobby. Instead of examining the message we bring home every day , afternoon and night, we are increasingly reminded that we are just doing a job like anybody else. If, heaven forbid, if what we bring home isn’t to the recipient’s liking, we have our motives and motivations questioned.
V.K. Shashikumar, editor, special investigations, of CNN-IBN, India’s #1 English news channel, has provided a ringing response to the doubting thomases and naysayers. Kumar was in Calcutta on Wednesday when rioters demanding the revocation of visa of the Bangaldeshi writer Taslima Nasreen went on the rampage.
While the general citizenry ran to the safety of their homes, in the opposite direction of the rioters, scared of life and limb, Kumar reminds us that the media ran ran into them. Unarmed.
“We stood our ground, tackled their anger, got the views of others out to the nation without judging them, we gave the news that you could consume. We informed you. We did our job. Without a chip on our shoulders. We braved the stones and the abuses so that you could know. We do this for a living.
“That’s what journalism is all about. To capture contemporary history without distilling it. And when everything is over to distill it with perspective. We are your ringside whisperers.
“We are the chronicler of the change within and without. We are story-tellers. We tell you what is happening around you. What might affect your life in positive ways. The things that might come in your way. We are also your conscience keeper.
“We raise our voice when you sit in your drawing room and criticize everything around you. When you become the arm chair critic, we give you the ammunition for an intelligent debate. We are what you are.
“We become your thoughts, we voice your thoughts, and we connect your thoughts to the larger world that you face every single day. We try to bring you right in the middle of things happening in your nation. We give a ringside view. We get into the ring as well.
“We are not the police, the army, you know. We are pretty ordinary mortals like you. Just convinced that we have a job to do. We are the much maligned journalists.”
Read the full story here: Why we do journalism