Journalists must have their own moral code: Maya Sharma
Journalists need to have their own moral code that ensures the integrity of their profession, Maya Sharma, Executive Editor, South, NDTV, said on Monday. This code will ensure that what they put out is accurate and minimizes harm, she said.
She was speaking at the inauguration of the 2020-21 academic year of the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media.
Ms Sharma said though several aspects of journalism have changed with the coronavirus pandemic, most fundamentals of journalism have remained the same. Curiosity about the world is an essential trait of a journalist, she said, adding that this leads to awareness.
Fairness and balance should be normal, but that is not the case in India today. She hoped young journalists could change that soon.
Journalists need to have compassion, and be flexible and enterprising while being able to work in a team, she said. They must also be able to respond quickly and accurately.
The pandemic has changed the way journalists do their work, Ms Sharma said, with remote interviews and remote reporting, which do not have the same impact as having one’s feet on the ground. These do not create a comfort level between reporters and the people they are reporting on. A blurring of lines between work time and space and personal time and space has added to the stress, she added.
Dr Abraham George, President, IIJNM, said journalists have the power to inform the people in a democracy. There is nothing more powerful than the truth, he said, adding that he strongly believes that journalism is a great, noble profession.