Media is relevantly described as the fourth pillar of a democratic system, as its prime function and objective remains to amplify the pressing concerns of the public, which earlier may not be taken into a positive consideration by the other three foundational democratic pillars viz the legislative, the executive and the judiciary.
But today, with an easy and unaccountable access to social media and internet, the very basic principles of impartiality and journalistic ethics have been immeasurably compromised in the valley. From divisional level to district levels, Kashmir has lately witnessed a mushroom growth in its horde of pseudo-journalists, anchors, coarse documentary-makers and even rib-tickling news readers.
However, while diving a little deeper into the world of this novel self-styled journalism, the disclosures that have surfaced are outrageous, scandalous and extremely disturbing. The expose of the nefarious extortion lobby that was run in the name of infamous ‘The Kashmir Crown’ online media portal has just shaken up the whole valley wherein even the genuine media houses are being seen with a contemptuous eye.
The media websites and newspapers are replete with the details of this heinous case wherein the complainant is still so much stressed that reports suggest that she has been on the verge of committing suicide, which is both appalling and shameful at the same time.
The people have lost their trust even in sincere journalism and the trend will only grow unless these shallow and often parody type media houses are unsympathetically proscribed, once for all.
A smartphone with high-resolution camera, a stickered mic and a question to ask are the basic three things that can make you a journalist in the valley. We are witnessing an unjustified mockery of this serious profession that actually has to alleviate the sufferings of the people and act as a medium between the public and the government.
The department of information in particular at this very juncture needs to take necessary steps in order to save the very credibility and integrity of the authentic media houses and newspapers while banning those unregistered outlets that feign journalism just to monetize it for their ulterior gains.