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Is it really a sensible journalism?

Man in sunset

It needs a lot of courage for a parent of a daughter, be it of India’s daughter or anywhere else in the world to pick up the daily newspaper and then go through it with a steaming cup of tea or coffee. It again takes a lot of vigor to switch on the evening news after the day’s work just curious to know what has happened in the world when they were busy at work. Frustrated, many times I just drop the newspaper and prefer to talk with my husband. We prefer to do channel surfing rather than watching the same news again and again with changed name.

Yes, I’m an escapist and so are many out there. Unless the name sounds familiar, it is yet another news headline for us. Isn’t it so?

Rape, molestation, sexual harassment, domestic violence…isn’t there anything else to report? Crime against women has increased or is it the reporting that has increased? The report says that in India every six minutes a women is physically abused. Is it really so? Ask her.

The reality is that she is physically abused every second. If she escapes the charring of her dignity where her body becomes a playground for prowling wolves; it is burned by the piercing stare that makes her feel naked even when conservatively dressed. That aversive touch as if it was by mistake, that lewd comment as if she deserves it, that sexual remarks as if she was born to acknowledge it. Has the perversion increased or a few handful of perverted mind has become dominant, defaming the whole community? After all “one spoiled apple can spoil the whole basket.”

I believe that overdose of the news of sexual violence has only increased the crime. I am not saying that reporting should not be done. Burying the head in the sand will not blind the reality. The harsh reality is there, making the very existence of the entire society hollow, slapping hard on the face of humanity, and questioning it every moment. But then think! Has the reporting about crimes on national newspapers or channels brought any change to it?

Yes, it has. The crime has increased. More persons are being exposed to such heinous crime on daily basis. Is there anything to report about the punishment granted against the crime? No.

Think what message is being delivered.

Unpunished crime breeds criminal. If they can then we can, that is the psychology. If the victim survives to report and criminals are caught, it is only followed by the long or rather prolonged court cases. What a treat! Peaceful life inside a jail without any bother to earn bread and butter, enjoying free boarding and lodging on tax payers’ money, that too without any worry of punishment for years to come. It only paves the path for more to join the brigade.

Media may wash off its hand; after all they are doing their job. It is the judiciary who is failing to do theirs. But then can’t media take the responsibility of delivering the news that will have positive impact on the society rather reporting of crime in minute details. It might increase its TRP, but is the job done in a responsible way? Let the details be reported to the police and kept in the police files for them to do their work.

The work of the media should be to highlight the punishments delivered for the crime, not the crime. It should be to put pressure on the government machineries including the judiciary to do their work efficiently. It should not be your job to report the details of how the act was done. What were the props used to commit it. How many persons ganged up? Who was the victim… of course with changed name? How is the survivor recuperating?

It makes me feel that it is a crime to get raped, molested, harassed, violated… rather than a crime to commit it. Be a change, a part of progressive thinking and not just an extension of chauvinism.

Leena Jha

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3 Comments

  1. It is quite true that crimes have become the latest media focus. It is true, crimes have always been there but recently with, the growth in digital and print media, they certainly seem to be “so gruesome” than before. I also agree with the fact that merely statements without any solution isn’t going to help. What good is that law of it isn’t moved by the such heinous crimes.

    While on one side, reporting of crimes have increased much to our displeasure; I think there are a few pages that are still bent on digging out the humanity that we need to save. There are numerous such pages like Humans of Bombay, The Better India, sometimes Schoopwhoop and some solid ones by The Logical Indian.

  2. It’s an interesting way to look at it. Difficult to hypothesise without any numbers, as the problem is very difficult solve with one solution.

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