RETURN TO MOORINGS
Hats off to you for publishing K.N.Hari Kumar’s two-piece essay on ‘Development journalism’. It was like rain on parched ground. I soaked myself in all what he has said and written in it. It brought back memories of great moments in Indian journalism when journalists chose to lead rather than follow the mob, to investigate and forewarn, to expose corruption at the highest level, to intervene as ghastly events unfolded in a bid to pre-empt them, to tear away the blinkers from the eyes of the gullible public, to cover communal clashes and point to a new direction.
The patriotic duty of the media today is to stress democratic discipline, expose untruth wrapped in gloss and party and individual interests in appealing dross. As watchdog of public interest and the voice of the small man, it is the duty of media to uphold democracy by exposing what those in authority may prefer to gloss over or hide. The media in a poor country like India must be the voice and face of the voiceless, faceless millions. But, sadly it is today warped just to be the face of the upwardly mobile, urban middle class. It is high time Indian newspapers returned to their moorings and maintained their high standards.
25 April 2007
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