24 Jul 2023

Editor tells students to seek the truth and report it

TNIE Editor, Santwana Bhattacharya emphasizes the need to sift between falsehoods and verified truth.

Bangalore, July 24: In a world where truth, post-truth and falsehoods are struggling, it is a daily struggle for journalists to sift out the falsehoods and get to the truth, said Santwana Bhattacharya, Editor, The New Indian Express.

Journalists need to ensure that all that they put out is the truth and is verified, she said, emphasizing the need for skepticism in a journalist and the ability to question everything. The media is a live beast that changes by the hour and journalists know that with every headline they shape not just the present but also the future.

Ms. Bhattacharya was speaking at the inaugural of the new academic year at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM), Bangalore.

She told students that as young journalists, they cannot compromise on telling the truth, because then they would be compromising on larger values, as well. Explaining how challenging it can be to tell a news story, she said that reporting Manipur was really difficult because all sides of the story needed to be told, but access to everyone was nearly impossible due to an internet shut down. However, she said, the New Indian Express worked toward putting out all angles to the story.

Journalism, she added was not just about news stories and news breaks, but also other stories of human interest. Further, it was also important to explain the news, not just report it. In this regard, she asked students to be wary of opinions and propaganda creeping into news reports, especially on social media.

President of IIJNM, Dr. Abraham George said that journalism is the most important pillar of democracy because it is what keeps everyone honest. Governments all over the world want to control the media so that what comes out is not the truth, but propaganda.  This is only possible when people are not informed, as in North Korea. Only a free press that is not the mouthpiece of policy makers can investigate and tell the truth. For any country to improve its governance, economic profile, social justice and equality, it needs a free press who can dig out the truth.

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